And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:13 (KJV)
Where ye are – The first quarantine was established by God during the time of a plague. He instructed all of Israel to stay in their homes while a plague ravished the land. And here we are today, on the verge of Passover, practicing quarantine to remove ourselves from a virus spreading throughout the land. How fitting.
All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.
Leviticus 13:46 (KJV)
Without the camp shall his habitation be – God teaches the method of quarantine when it comes to infectious diseases. He doesn’t say that spiritual people won’t be infected. He doesn’t say that your faith will shield you from diseases. In fact, the ONLY way to completely avoid disease, at least the diseases in Egypt, is to keep the law.
And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deuteronomy 17:19 (KJV)
Read – In the early 400s AD, St. Augustine wrote about a man named Ambrose who, when he read, did not vocalize the words or move his tongue. This was apparently shocking for St. Augustine to witness so much so that he noted it in his journal.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
Philippians 3:2 (KJV)
Concision – Paul was a wordsmith. He enjoyed using words to convey particular meanings, creating his own words, and digging into the uncommon words of society. The latter is true for this particular word translated as “concision.”
A couple of months ago, I had a great conversation with an older fellow believer. He was concerned that I had become too legalistic in my obedience to the laws of God. Although, he didn’t outright say that, I could tell based on his attempt to have me reconsider not fasting from leaven during Passover. He knew that my family and I didn’t eat leaven during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but he did. And similarly to many Christians, he prided himself on being spiritually obedient and living according to the spiritual commandments written on his heart. This is a very noble effort indeed.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV)
Treasures – We discovered in another post that laying up treasures was diligently adhering to the righteousness of God. It had everything to do with what you did. And the work that one did was defined by the works of the Torah.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Genesis 12:1 (KJV)
Get thee out – God tells Abram, lech lecha (לֶךְ-לְךָ), get thee out. As is much of the Hebrew Bible, this is another play on words. The words may sound identical, but actually mean two different things: “go” and “to yourself.” The implication is that although Abraham must undergo a traumatic departure from his native land, he is actually traveling to find his more authentic self. Once Abraham enters the land, his true relationship with the one Lord can grow.
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
Romans 7:18 (NIV)
Sinful nature – If it’s in the Bible, it must be true, right? Unfortunately, “sinful nature” is not what it means in Greek. You might also be surprised to learn that “sinful nature” is a Greek-rooted paradigm of the Hebrew yetzer hara.