The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Mosaic law

Through learning righteousness and justice, God's people become an example

Every society develops laws and traditions that seek to provide and enforce whatever is seen to be in its best interests. The society that formed from those who followed Moses out of Egypt on a journey to a promised land is no exception. They developed laws, established traditions and set norms for social boundaries and relationships in ways that told the story of who they were and whose they were.

They saw themselves as a chosen people—brought from bondage to freedom by a mighty God with whom they already were in covenant relationship through Abraham and Sarah. This God was seasoning them to be a blessing to all nations.

An important spice in that seasoning was learning to treat one another with righteousness and justice. Having learned to do it among themselves from laws given to them by God, the personification of righteousness and justice, it was hoped they could be an example to others. The source of this seasoning is found in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, the Torah, particularly Exodus through Deuteronomy—sometimes referred to as the Mosaic law.

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