Saturday, October 20, 2012

God Himself Violated the Law

I am re-posting the following, which I wrote last week on the Marriage Revolution blog. I'm hoping for some discussion! Please comment.

While reading through some of the laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy recently I came across the passage below:
Deut 22:23 If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, 24 you shall bring them both out to the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.
I wasn't hunting for marriage related laws, this one just happened to jump out at me. Why did it grab my attention? Because according to this passage, God Himself violated the law.

Luke chapter 1 describes the occurrence.

Mary the mother of Jesus was in a city; the town of Nazareth. She was betrothed to Joseph. The Holy Spirit came upon her, overshadowed her, and planted a child in her womb. She did not cry out for help because she didn't want or need it. Joseph initially believed himself to have been wronged and planned to divorce her.

All of these facts line up to show a clear violation of the law laid out in Deuteronomy 22.

At the very moment the New Covenant was initiated, God Himself broke an Old Covenant law related to marriage. Perhaps it was a sign of it's passing, a shattering of a clay tablet inscribed by a Pharisee.

The Spirit must have whispered to Mary "Don't think about what you've been taught. Simply love Me with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Mary responded by opening to His request, despite knowing that she could be stoned.

I'm still pondering what this could mean. I don't have an answer. But since God Himself begins the very life of Christ through a violation of marital law, it certainly points out that the Biblical "view" of marriage is far from straight forward.


Ike said...

God honors marriage and God honors sexual purity. Adultery in Israel was to be punished by stoning. This tells us how God feels about adultery. Remember that God's love for His people is expressed in His law. This law regarding the protection of the sancity of marriage is a very fine example of His love and concern for the human family.

No man had anything to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. We are told in the Book of Leviticus that the birth of a child caused a woman to be unclean because she brought a sinner into the world. Mary is told that she is "not" bringing a sinner into the world...He is holy. The union of a man and woman can only produce a child with a sin nature. By the Virgin Birth is the only way God could get that "holy thing" into the human family.

The answer to your question is it was a "Virgin Birth". God cannot violate the law.....if He could...we all would be in trouble.

Suzanne Marie DeWitt said...

Thanks for your thoughts Ike.

It is an interesting thought, isn't it, the idea of God violating the law? Given that He created the whole thing, I don't think it is truly possible for Him to "violate" laws. A new word is probably required to describe it.

But what He DID do throughout the New Testament, was overturn it, replace it, and fulfill it.

He disobeyed rules about the Sabbath. Rules about foods. Rules about circumcision. The one I've pondered most is the former prohibition against consuming blood. Not only did He do away with that law, he turned it completely on it's head. He said "This is my blood. Drink it. And if you do not drink it, you have no life in you."

Jews of the time viewed this as a major violation. Completely scandalous. But it was God Himself who did it.

Was it in fact a violation?

Interesting question indeed.

The issue of the incarnation through the virgin Mary is similar to me. It goes against fundamental Old Testament truths.

He is a fascinating one, our God.