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JoeMo

God Gave Laws That Weren't Good?

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JoeMo

I have been reading through the prophets for Sabbath Bible study; and I ran across the following verses:

"Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their parents’ idols.  So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live;" (Ezek. 20:23-25)

The context of these verses is God putting increasing pressure on Israel to obey His statutes, get rid of their idols, and honor His Sabbaths.

I infer from these verses that God gave laws to the Israelites that were increasingly difficult if not impossible to keep.  Peter seems to echo this concern in Acts 15:10-11:

"Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?  No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

At first, I was kind of offended that God would do this.  Then, after thinking about it, I can see why God might do this.  Was God trying to show the Israelites that it was impossible to please God by their own efforts; and to encourage them to throw themselves at the feet of their Creator (and only Him); and rely solely on Him and His mercy and forgiveness for their well-being and salvation?

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Ron Amnsn

The idea that God would give the Israelites bad laws would be rather disturbing.  But I don't think that is what is being said in Ezekiel 20:25.  The NKJV translates that verse as "Therefore I also gave them up to statutes that were not good" and the NIV translates it as "I also gave them over to statutes that were not good," which matches the context of a people that continued to choose to not follow God's laws.

Ezekiel lived during the Babylonian captivity, through which God subjected the Israelites to the laws of the Babylonians.  And before that the evil kings of Israel had subjected the Israelites to statutes and customs that were not good.

But even if the NKJV and NIV missed the meaning of the passage, and Ezekiel actually intended to write that God himself authored bad laws and gave them to Israel to obey, we wouldn't find those "bad laws" in the Books of Moses because the Books of Moses contain God's good laws by which a person shall live-- the laws that Ezekiel 20 says the Israelites had disobeyed and rejected.

A few verses earlier in Ezekiel 20 God had specifically distinguished between God own laws and man-made laws:
18 “And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’ 21 But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.

Verses 26-32, immediately following verse 25, give examples of the kind of "other statutes that were not good" -- customs regarding idol worship.

The Old Testament does not teach a religion whereby the Israelites were supposed to please God by their own efforts.  The Israelites did not even receive the written law until after they had already been redeemed (from Egypt).  God's grace and the atoning  sacrifice of Messiah are embedded within the religion that God gave to the Israelites through Moses, which also provides regular opportunities for God's people to rely solely on God and his mercy.

In Acts 15:10-11 Peter speaks of the man-made laws and Jewish customs as the "yoke" that is unbearable.  That can be shown from the full context of Acts 15.

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The Wanderer
36 minutes ago, Ron Amnsn said:

In Acts 15:10-11 Peter speaks of the man-made laws and Jewish customs as the "yoke" that is unbearable.  That can be shown from the full context of Acts 15.

sounds just like the international date line hub bub in another thread!

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phkrause

Also Ron, in the CJB, it translates like this: .I also gave them laws which did them no good and rulings by which they did not live;

We need to read before and after, it puts it in better context also!!

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JoeMo
3 hours ago, Ron Amnsn said:

But even if the NKJV and NIV missed the meaning of the passage, and Ezekiel actually intended to write that God himself authored bad laws and gave them to Israel to obey, we wouldn't find those "bad laws" in the Books of Moses because the Books of Moses contain God's good laws by which a person shall live

It is obvious to me that God didn't intend for people under the New Covenant to follow all of the laws written in the Torah.  Paul makes a very clear statement concerning one of those laws - circumcision:

"Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.  You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." (Gal.5:2-4).

 In Acts 15:, the apostles themselves told us what laws would apply to Gentiles:

" It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:  You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things." (Acts 15:28-29)

I'm sure that their beliefs and convictions grew as they followed the leadings of the Holy Spirit and matured in the teachings of their new-found faith.

Jesus wants us to depend totally on Him for salvation; not a set of over 660 rules found in the Torah.  Our good works are the result of the grace received from leaning totally on Him.  Our obedience is not a prerequisite of our faith in Jesus, it is the result.

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Gustave

What JoeMo said is accurate. God did give some laws (not because they were good) but to stump bust a specific stubborn  group of people. 

Isaiah 28, 20 explains the reason this was done this way was so that the Jews would be "broken" - because they needed to be "broken". This is why the "moral" or "natural laws" engrained on all people were carried over to the "New Covenant" while the ceremonial type of laws (those laws intended to break down a stubborn people) were nailed to the cross and put to death.

 

"But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken".

 

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stinsonmarri
On 4/13/2019 at 11:00 AM, JoeMo said:

"Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?  No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

Those were the sacrificial laws and only these laws were done away with:

 And HE shall confirm the Covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, HE shall make it desolate, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Dan 9:27 

These are what are called the mosaic laws! However, the Protestants including the SDA include the Holy Convocations Days which is not accurate at all. These Holy Days of Set Time belong to YAHWEH!

And YAHWEH spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and you shall say to them, The Appointed Times of YAHWEH which you shall proclaim as Holy Gatherings (Holy Convocations), shall be these: These are My Appointed Times: Lev 23:1, 2 TS2009

These days are found in Gen 1:14 which also include the weekly Sabbath. They are not Sabbaths nor were any of them called the Sabbath. However, the Day of Atonement was called our sabbath and the instructions given were totally different from YAHWEH'S Sabbath. You will find many will claim that the Blowing of the Trumpet was a Sabbath. It was not it was called "shabbâthôn," this word in ancient Hebrew language means a special occasion. The word in Hebrew "Shabbath," is a noun and YAHWEH would have used that word. Where I become sad is that so many tried hid the truth to keep others from knowing it. I feel everyone should know the truth! Why hide it? If you don't want to obey that's your choice. But the old saying, "misery loves company." They don't want to do it and they choose for others, keeping them from making their own choice! How sad this world has become!

Blessings!

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stinsonmarri
On 4/13/2019 at 2:54 PM, Ron Amnsn said:

The idea that God would give the Israelites bad laws would be rather disturbing.  But I don't think that is what is being said in Ezekiel 20:25.  The NKJV translates that verse as "Therefore I also gave them up to statutes that were not good" and the NIV translates it as "I also gave them over to statutes that were not good," which matches the context of a people that continued to choose to not follow God's laws.

Ezekiel lived during the Babylonian captivity, through which God subjected the Israelites to the laws of the Babylonians.  And before that the evil kings of Israel had subjected the Israelites to statutes and customs that were not good.

But even if the NKJV and NIV missed the meaning of the passage, and Ezekiel actually intended to write that God himself authored bad laws and gave them to Israel to obey, we wouldn't find those "bad laws" in the Books of Moses because the Books of Moses contain God's good laws by which a person shall live-- the laws that Ezekiel 20 says the Israelites had disobeyed and rejected.

A few verses earlier in Ezekiel 20 God had specifically distinguished between God own laws and man-made laws:
18 “And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’ 21 But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.

Verses 26-32, immediately following verse 25, give examples of the kind of "other statutes that were not good" -- customs regarding idol worship.

The Old Testament does not teach a religion whereby the Israelites were supposed to please God by their own efforts.  The Israelites did not even receive the written law until after they had already been redeemed (from Egypt).  God's grace and the atoning  sacrifice of Messiah are embedded within the religion that God gave to the Israelites through Moses, which also provides regular opportunities for God's people to rely solely on God and his mercy.

In Acts 15:10-11 Peter speaks of the man-made laws and Jewish customs as the "yoke" that is unbearable.  That can be shown from the full context of Acts 15.

This problem and laws came from the Babylonian exile. These laws were created from the sect called the Pharisees that YAHSHUA had to constantly contend with. After the destruction of the Temple, in later centuries many of the Pharisees return little by little. The Sadducees, the priests (YAHSHUA  had to deal with as well, but not as much as the lawyers called the Pharisees.) were no longer needed and the Levites died out! That is why people today should not believe in those who called themselves Kohanim. They claimed their bloodline is from Aaron, which is not true historically and Biblically. 

When the Romans destroyed the Temple, it was the Hebrew nobles, priest, and Pharisees that were taken and placed into slavery. These are the ones that incited the people to revolt. Many Hebrews where they were disperse were forced to become Catholic or Muslim, very few kept their faith. The Pharisees was a sect and not related by blood and some escaped to Egypt before the war. Hadrian became emperor many of them slowly returned to Israel and Jerusalem and begin to formulate. They formed a new Rabbinical religion called Judaic that spread with many of the old teaching and doctrines that had already changed in Babylon before the time of the Maccabees. The problem was they had to deal with the Sadducees now the priest bloodline was gone and they could openly claim the Talmud and their practices. Those who were sent to Europe became associated with the German people around the Rhine River.

Again, they became rich merchants but they remain cut off from the German people. More and more over the centuries, they would marry among themselves first, and later their youth would marry the Germans. Like the Catholic, the female German would adopt the belief and raise the children and now they were called Jews. These communes begin to spread all over Europe.

It was totally different in Russia ever since the Babylonian, Greek, and Persian dominance many Hebrews did not return to Israel. The Hebrews were merchants and formed communes in Turkey and again married and intermingle with caucasian people of various tribes spreading to Crimea, Georgia and other countries eventually they migrated into Russia as well. This is when the Kingdom of Khazar joined into the belief. Understand that the belief of the Pharisees came out of the Babylonian captivity and this belief spread with the Pharisees everywhere. Only in Israel did it have difficulties because many of the priestly tribe returned to Israel. Once, the Levitical tribe disappeared and the other tribes intermarried and like the Bible stated that Japheth would dwell in the tents of Shem. This became a reality, also the curse upon the Hebrew happen as well. When Rome came on the scene the Hebrews were spread all over the world and they mixed Hellenization of the Greek in with their belief system. The Sadducees oppose Greece that is why the Maccabees wars became very important. They were the priest, but they also did not practice all the truth themselves, however they clash with the Pharisees. They only united together to killed YAHSHUA who was a thorn in both of their sides. Eventually, as Noah prophesied, the Ashkenazi, Gomer son became the dominant one and the Hebrews bloodline because of the curse became lost!

They refused to walk in the Statutes and Commandments of YAHWEH and to present the truth to the children of Japheth and Shem seed became lost forever! Gen 9:27; Deut 28:15-68

Blessings!

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JoeMo

Marri,

You are a wealth of information that I have never heard before.  I intend to "fact-check" you - not because I have reason to disbelieve you; but because I am sure there is even more to the story than you said in your post.

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