Hard to understand scriptures

This weekend in our Nehemiah series, I referred to scriptures that are hard to understand. I thought I would give you just a little bit of insight and maybe some references to a few of the Scriptures that I referred to.

Eating insects

“You must not eat winged insects that walk along the ground; they are detestable to you. You may, however, eat winged insects that walk along the ground and have jointed legs so they can jump. (Leviticus 11:20, 21 NLT)

This was a dietary law referring to what insects were considered kosher or not. I mentioned this weekend that this scripture is not going to impact me because I’m not going to be eating insects! The truth is however, I live in a different time and place. At the time it was written, this would’ve made sense. It referred to locusts, which were considered kosher. Evidence exists that early Jews ate both pickled and salted locust. Here’s a link to a 17 page treatise on the subject in case you are interested in further study: Kosher Insects

Boiling goats

“As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the L ord your God. “You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. (Exodus 23:19 NLT)

This, again, is a dietary law specific to the Jewish population of that era. The reasoning for the law could have been one of the following:

    A response to an idolatrous practice of pagan culture…
    Or a practical solution to an aging lactose intolerant society…
    Or more likely a command against an inhumane practice, showing the nature of a loving God.

Here’s a link to a short enlightening article: Goats

Hating your family

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26 NIV)

This passage goes against all of our better instincts, especially if you value family. How can Jesus say that we have to hate our families? Without taking away from the true cost of discipleship, which SHOULD challenge our earthly allegiances, I think this passage would better be interpreted as it is in the New Living Translation:

“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison… (Luke 14:26 NLT)

For a true disciple every other relationship, including close family relationships, will look like hate in comparison to our relationship with God. The emphasis should be on our love for God and not on our hate for others. Understanding this scripture requires a knowledge on the rest of Jesus teaching on love.

So what?

I hope you don’t just skim hard scriptures, but instead allow them to challenge you to further study. If you do, you’ll find yourself finding some of God’s great treasures and coming to an even better understanding of the power of God’s grace.