A: Many Old Testament laws seem weird. Two things to remember:
•They’re written for a long-ago, faraway culture. All cultures have customs that make sense to “insiders” but not “outsiders.” I’m from the Philippines, where we point with our lips (no, we’re not blowing kisses . . .). Ask Dr. Fullingim about New Guinean customs. For a look at how American customs can seem weird to outsiders, read “Body Rituals Among the Nacirema”: tinyurl.com/ministryminute1.
•They prepared God’s people for Jesus. As Dr. McNall writes in Long Story Short, “If Israel would be . . . different from her neighbors spiritually and morally, then she must be different outwardly and culturally. In this way, the God of Abraham would sustain his family until a point when Someone could come along to live out the heart of the commandments. Until that time, however, the unique laws of the Old Testament preserved the calling and identity of Israel in the same way that other cultures have been sustained for thousands of years. Later on, in the New Testament, we will be given an indication of which commands still apply, and which ones have run their course” (pp. 77-78).
-Dr. Van Kuiken