The thing is, the law is not just dietary laws. I've noticed that people seem to bring up Sabbath observance or diatary laws, but if one is following the law then its supposed to be the ENTIRE law.
In the first five books of the Bible there were instructions and teachings recorded in the books of Moses that became a part of Israel’s covenant with God. The law touches upon every part of Israel’s lifestyle — agriculture, civil government, social relationships, and worship.
I will post about the first two first, the moral and ceremonial law.
There were two sets of laws Moses received on Mount Sinai. One was the moral law and the other ceremonial law. Both sets of instructions were called the law, but they were different in that the law of Ten Commandments/moral law defined what sin was, whereas the ceremonial law contained the solution to the sin problem. God wrote the Ten Commandments, and Moses wrote the ceremonial law, or book of the law.
The ten commandments/moral law were:
spoken by God (Exodus 20:18-20
written with God's own finger on two tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18; 32:16; 34:1
placed inside the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant was the most important piece of furniture in the earthly sanctuary. It was a wooden box, plated with gold which contained only the tablets of the Ten Commandments in it. Placed on top of the box were two angels made of solid gold. Between these two angels was the mercy seat (Exodus 25:17-22
), where the presence of God dwelt. This symbolized God’s throne in heaven, which is likewise located between two angels (Psalm 80:1
). It was the only piece of furniture in the most holy room.
God expressly calls what He wrote on the tables of stone, a law and commandments (Exodus 24:12
According to Deuteronomy 31:26
, the laws written down by Moses were placed in the tabernacle “by the side of the covenant of the Lord.”
Only the Decalogue/ten commandments were placed inside the ark of the covenant (Deuteronomy 10:5
Ceremonial law regulated the sanctuary ritual, describing the various offerings and the individual citizen’s responsibilities. The feast days are specified and their observance defined. This law centred around the sanctuary and its services, all of which, of course, were designed to teach the children of Israel the plan of salvation and point them to the coming Messiah.
The ceremonial system was meant to function only as a type, a symbol of a future reality - the coming of Jesus and His death and High Priestly ministry. Once He completed His work on earth, this old system along with its sacrifices and rituals and feasts-no longer was needed. Hebrews 9:9-12
says, "It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."
Though we no longer keep the ceremonial law today, by studying it we can garner insights into the plan of salvation and heavenly sanctuary.
says the Ark of the covenant is in the heavenly temple. It is clear that there was a distinction between the the ten commandments and other laws in the Old Testament. These laws will also apply after the Second Coming of Jesus, as they are the base of God's government.
Its also the ten commandment law that in the New Covenant is written on the heart of the believer (Hebrews 8:10
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
James was talking about the moral law, the ten commandments. For if we read the next two verses they say, "For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty"
). The laws mentioned are part of the ten commandments and the law of liberty is another name for the ten commandment law.
We are also not supposed to wear clothing made of mixed materials.
We are not supposed to plant seeds of a different type in the same field. As most of us are not farmers, would we also forbidden from consuming crops that someone else planted in a mixed field?
Would people that work in healthcare and touch other people's fluids be perpetually unclean, as well as everything they touch? Coroners and morticians? Cemetary caretakers? What about people who work for animal control and come into frequent contact with carcasses?
What of people who have in the past gotten tattoos or other body modifications?
Are we to insist on being paid that same day for that days wages?
Should disobedient adult children be stoned?
All these matters, and others, are discussed in the law, yet often the emphasis is on Sabbath observance and dietary laws (which arguably are the easiest/less intrusive parts to follow).
As I mentioned above, there were laws given to Moses to govern the lives of the Israelites in the first five books of the Bible. People them into
different categories to make it easier for them to learn about. There is some overlap with some of them though. The ancients did not see them as separate and distinct.
The different categories are moral law, ceremonial law, civil law and health laws.
I've already posted about moral and ceremonial law above.
These were based on the moral law. They defined a citizen’s relationship to civil authorities and to fellow citizens. These were laws that were given specifically to Old Testament Israel as a nation under a theocracy. They applied to daily living in Israel. For example there was one where if a man and a woman were caught committing adultery they were to be stoned to death. While some of the laws are still relevant from that time, for example its still breaking the law to commit adultery, the punishment of stoning people to death is not applicable today. That kind of judicial system no longer exists because we do not live in a theocracy.
Some of these laws overlap with other laws. Under these laws were hygiene, dietary and sexual laws.
Leviticus 13:46, "He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp."
Quarantine procedures control contagious disease (Leviticus 13:46
Human-body waste should be buried (Deuteronomy 23:12-13
Washing the body and clothing controls germs (Leviticus 17:15-16
Moral living prevents sexual diseases (Leviticus 18; Proverbs 5:1-12; Colossians 3:5-6
Animal fat should not be eaten (Leviticus 3:17; 7:22-24
Hatred and bitterness is detrimental to one's health (Leviticus 19:17-18; Proverbs 15:17; Hebrews 12:14-15
Overeating is harmful (Proverbs 23:2
Our bodies need proper rest (Psalm 127:2; Mark 6:31
Importance of work (Exodus 20:9-10; 2 Thessalonians 3:10
A positive attitude is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22; 1 Timothy 6:6
Parents' habits affect children (Deuteronomy 12:25; Exodus 20:5
The health laws God gave to His people thousands of years ago were scientifically far ahead of their time. Only in recent years have we recognized how truly great are the benefits they offer!
Why did God give health rules to His people?
God gave health principles because He knows what is best for the human body. Car manufacturers place an operations manual in the glove compartment of each new car because they know what is best for their creation. God, who made our bodies, also has an “operations manual.”
It is the Bible. Ignoring God’s “operations manual”
often results in disease, twisted thinking, and burned-out lives, just as abusing a car can result in serious car trouble. Following God’s principles results in “saving health”
) and more abundant life (John 10:10
). With our cooperation, God can use these great health laws to significantly reduce and eliminate the effects of the diseases of Satan (Psalm 103:2-3
Why is our health so important to God?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."
Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."
God wants our bodies to be His holy dwelling place. Therefore we must choose to make them a wholesome place for His residence.
Some of the civil and health laws still apply today but most of them don't.
The weaving of two kinds of material (wool and linen in Deuteronomy 22:11
) was a rule about not mixing plant and animal material together. In the same chapter of Deuteronomy 22
there are similar morality laws like a woman not wearing man's clothing and vice versa (verse 5
), “You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled" (verse 9
), “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together"
) and there are sexual morality laws like homosexuality etc. God did not want natural law perverted. Those things do not mix well together like linen and wool which behave differently and/or are immoral. Also God wanted to make a distinction between His people and the pagan nations around them. One of the things the pagan nations did is have mixed fabrics in their clothing for example. God wanted His people to be a separate and different people in everything they did.
Some of those laws have no application today like the mixing of linen and wool together because firstly most Christians do not make their own fabric or clothing, and secondly clothing manufacturers do not mix these materials together anyway.
Women wearing men's clothing and vice versa, homosexuality etc are still applicable today though. However the punishments of the Old Testament are not applicable any more because we are now under a different government not a theocracy.
Not touching bodies was about preventing diseases and germs which we now know about and have better means of dealing with than the Israelites thousands of years ago.