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The Heart of the Law
It is noteworthy that Numbers places the hope of the restitution of society upon the affection of truth in the new will. Moses’ last words now to follow are an appeal to that new will. They constitute the second law, or the repetition of the law. The first law, as in Exodus and Leviticus, is addressed to the understanding; the second to the will. Here Moses speaks from heart to heart, and directs attention to the spirit in which Israel should keep the commandments in the land. Love to God is the keynote of the book. "The true principle of human action cannot be stated more profoundly than is here done: it was a true instinct which in later times selected Deuteronomy 6:4–9 for daily recitation by every Israelite: and it is at once intelligible that our Lord should have pointed to the same text, both as the ‘first commandment of all,’ and as embodying the primary condition for the inheritance of eternal life" (Dr. S. R. Driver, "Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament.") The law becomes dynamic when spoken from the heart. The Lord selected words from the sixth and eighth chapters of Deuteronomy to repel the tempter in the wilderness. These words fully meet every temptation to give knowledge, or the world, or self, which have brought humanity to the low estate in which it is today, the first place in life.
The Blessings of Trial
Chapters 1–4. In his first address Moses reviews the experiences in the wilderness. The tribes had been organized and officered so that the law might be applied to direct and discipline the host to raise its morale and efficiency. They explored the land and saw from the fruit of it that it was a good land. The walled cities and giants terrorized the people. Further trial would fit a new generation to recover its faith. The Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites had taken their land from giants, and should not be disturbed. But Sihon and Og were conquered and their land given to Reuben, and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh. From this Israel should take courage. Joshua would lead them to victory over the kings on the other side of the Jordan. "Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God He shall fight for you."
Moses concluded with a stirring exhortation to obey the law of the Lord to live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of their fathers will give them. The substitution of the thought of "heaven" for that of "the land" makes the appeal an ever present inspiration to overcome the habits of thought and action destructive of human happiness. "I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it," if ye serve other gods. "But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." For every mistaken effort, for every injury done without knowledge, provision is made for protection until the lesson has been learned, and reparation effected. Moses reserved Bezer, Ramoth and Golan as cities of refuge in the allotments of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh. "And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel."
Love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor constitute heaven, . . . and heaven is with everyone according to his reception of love and faith from the Lord; and they who receive heaven whilst they live in the world, come into heaven after death. (The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine #231, 232)
The Divine Patience
5. The second address (Chapters 5–26) opens with the repetition of the "ten words," but with one or two important variations. Here it is said "the Lord talked with you face to face out of the midst of the fire." A close personal relationship of God and his people strikes home the entreaty for obedience afire with the love of God. And how tender the warning—"that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt." God is no respecter of persons. We are all members of one family—his children. All service ranks alike with Him in whose sight there is no first or last. For everyone human nature is hard to change. It takes Omnipotence to emancipate us from habits long bred in the bone. Yet the Lord never forces us. He gives us rest to recuperate, and takes us at our own time. "O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever."
6. The increase of power for good grows with the observance of the law. The education of our children in the law is their birthright. But there are children born of the spirit as well as of the body awaiting the application of the law. "The wish is father to the thought." Our thoughts need constant revision. The process of purification is like that of the elimination of impurities from the blood and body. It goes on perpetually, when in action, or at rest, in relation to private and public matters of every kind. There is danger in forgetting our responsibilities and neglecting our duty. We owe it to the Lord to bless others as we have been blessed. "It shall be our righteousness that we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us."
Action and Reaction
7. The conflict between good and evil must be relentless and fearless. There can be no compromise with evil. The odds are always on the side of right. It is never a question of numbers, but of purpose and backing. The Lord keeps covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face to destroy them. The speed of recovery, however, cannot be hastened. We ourselves make the pace. It is slow because it must be thorough, and there can be no further retrogression now. Our gains must be sure, and free from self-merit. The enemies’ gods must be destroyed, and no abomination find a place in our homes. The victory is the Lord’s, not ours.
8. Our trials are tests of faith. They humble us; they turn the heart to the Lord for daily bread for daily needs. The soul is restored, and we learn anew that the only satisfaction in life exists in living according to the precepts of love and faith. As we come into harmony with the laws of divine order everything takes on a new meaning. The simplest facts of life exemplify the law. We find "sermons in stones, books in running brooks, and good in everything" (Shakespeare, "As You Like It.") But we must be on constant guard against the growth of pride. Failure to recognize the Lord in giving us the power to get wealth in knowledge or money, with its increasing responsibilities, means the ruination of character.
9. When we face pride, we face the real children of Anak. Understand then that the Lord "goeth before thee as a consuming fire to destroy them: so thou shalt drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee." We have not been introduced into this new state of living for our own righteousness, but to drive out the evils that should have no place in life. They are there; we have seen them in part in previous experiences. We review these experiences: they keep returning to our conscious memory, and remind us of weaknesses that still exist. Self-will is not mastered in a day’s fight. Its contumacy, however, is weakened every time we set our face against it.
10. Though we fail to reach perfection, the second set of two tables of the law enshrined within the heart are a guarantee that the Lord will not forsake us so long as we keep up the struggle to do his will. Our trials may bring out the worst that is in us; they also assuredly bring out the best that is in us. The Lord is on that better side to strengthen it to overcome that which is worst. "Thy fathers went down into Egypt with three score and ten persons; and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude."
"The Life Is More Than the Meat"
11. Our quest in life with its new attitude toward trial places us upon an altogether higher level. Egypt is a garden of herbs watered by the foot. A worldly life is sensuous, drab, monotonous and unsatisfying. Canaan is a land of mountains and valleys. It drinketh water of the rain of heaven. "The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of it." In the ups and downs of the spiritual life there is always something to learn which deepens our interest and satisfaction. We are conscious of the Lord’s care for us whenever our thoughts are centered on the removal of the innumerable barriers to the larger life of others, and particularly the barriers to it in ourselves. We continually note the presence of right and wrong in the day’s thinking, and the need of sustaining the right and rejecting the wrong. The ultimate outcome is assured. We may lose faith at times because the task seems endless and hopeless. Enough then that we remove the load of anxiety, and do the work of each day as it comes. "Ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I am putting before you this day."
12. The injunction to destroy all forms of idolatry in the land refers to idolatry in ourselves. We establish the worship of the one and only God in heaven and earth—the Lord Jesus Christ—in our hearts as idolatry is weakened and destroyed. The tenth of whatever we have which is given to the Lord means the acknowledgment that everything we possess or are is from Him. There is but one place where God can be found and worshipped—in the heart where love dwells. That love is represented by the Levite, a love that conjoins us with God, and with one another. And whatever the sacrifice or offering we bring we must share it with all alike without thinking of the price paid for it. The cost in suffering to be just to others must be forgotten in the joy of fellowship. It is all God’s gift. This is the significance of eating the flesh, but not the blood of the sacrifice. "Ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water." The blood is the life; the price we pay for what we give to others is its value. But the gift is valueless when we think of ourselves in it. Sic transit gloria mundi. "What I spent, I had; What I saved, I lost; What I gave, I have" (Holman Hunt).
13. If anyone should speak flatteringly of our accomplishments, and tempt us to overestimate our worth or capability, we should be quick to recognize the voice of the prophet and dreamer. An inflated idea of our own importance is not compatible with a whole-hearted and whole-souled worship and love of God. And as regards every other temptation from within or from without, our thoughts and feelings must be under constant observation, to detect every tendency to fall away from the worship of the Lord. "Good from the Lord is heaven to the angels, and not anything of their own" (Heaven and Hell #12).
14. Self-pity is uncalled for in mourning for lost friends. "If ye loved me," the Lord said, "ye would rejoice because I said I go unto my Father; for my Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). Death to the angels means resurrection. It ought to mean the same to us when we think of our friends, and not of ourselves.
We live by that which we eat. Good affections and inclinations are strengthened by a study of the best in life, and the assimilation of that which nourishes the kind of character we desire to be. A degraded taste finds nourishment for the reprobate. But no character worthy of esteem can exist without recognizing full indebtedness for it to the Lord. We receive freely, as we give freely.
We Owe More Than We Can Pay
15. The poor make a constant claim upon our help. They must not be neglected. It is good that we open heart and hand to save them from the pangs and acute sufferings of poverty, and help them bear their trials in every way possible, with discrimination, and without condescension. Our obligations to the poor, however, go much deeper. Charity begins at home. We are poor in the ratio that we contract debt and know not how or when we can repay it. Therefore we continually pray that our debts may be forgiven as we forgive our debtors. We incur debt to our Heavenly Father when we hold others as our debtors too strictly to account. We accept all they give or do for us, and return the least possible. We turn against them as soon as they cease to favor us, or serve us in any way. We become more and more exacting in our demands the more seriously they trespass against us. It is a sabbatical year for us when we realize our own poverty, our own need. Our spirit is not right. We live to be served, rather than to serve. We must forgive to be forgiven. Sometimes we hold others in subservience to us in our thoughts about them. It is hard for us to grant them freedom. To be forgiven we need to release them from their indebtedness to us, and leave them free to square their account with God, just as we ourselves are in the effort of so doing. In the exact measure that we put an end to the evil we do at the expense of the happiness of other people do we receive the Lord’s forgiveness, and square our account with Him.
16. Every deliverance from evil in heart and thought and life is cause for increasing thanksgiving to the Lord. "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee." We give, or use to better advantage whatever we receive as we free our judgment from greed or partiality. "Heaven is a kingdom of uses." Our worship of God must be freed from selfish considerations, or idolatry.
"Be Perfect as the Father in Heaven Is Perfect"
17. The animals for sacrifice must be without blemish. When we come into the Lord’s presence our feelings should be sincere and selfless. We know how hard it is to attain and maintain this state of mind. Before we are aware of it our mind turns to some ugly experience, and a controversy is started with self-condemnation and self-justification. Religion calls for a judgment in which love and reason play an equal part. Experience in forming just judgments leads to the institution of general principles—a king— for the guidance of conduct. The principles we adopt, however, are rarely final. They must always be subject to modification, and even change, to conform to a purer understanding of the law of the Lord—the law of love.
We May Know When We
Fall Short of Perfection
18. Love—God’s love—has no bounds. The Levites had no inheritance in the land, but had their portion in every tribe. In the individual the Levite represents the selfless side of man’s nature, without which he would be irredeemable. In the community the love of the neighbor is the common factor in every religion that gives life to it. And that life is supported and sustained by the varied forms of good life in each religion—"the burnt offerings made to the Lord." That life must be free from everything that defiles or debases character. "Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God." In anticipation of the time when the deeper evils in the race will come to the surface for judgment the Lord promises the advent of a Prophet who will gainsay the word of false prophets, and lead in the way everlasting. The Old Testament will be made plain in the New Testament. And both Testaments will in the future more fully reveal the word of life to an expectant world. "The time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in parables, but I shall show you plainly of the Father" (John 16:25). Experience, for good or ill, is the criterion of the right interpretation. "When a Prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my Words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:49).
19. Judgment is still the subject of the address. Hatred is the opposite of love. When we hate in ignorance and are convicted of it a refuge lies before us to live and learn. But premeditated hatred destroys the love of God in the heart. The crime can only be expiated by the complete renunciation of it. We set the bounds to "righteous indignation." They border closely on neighborly love. It is easy to remove the landmark. One witness—the truth alone—is not enough to pass judgment. The motive, the facts of the case and the effect on others may all need to be taken into account to get at the truth. But if a false witness enter into the situation, the issue must be decided "before the Lord, the priests, and judges." False witness must be eliminated from the issues of life and death in the heart. The consequences of sin are inescapable—"an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." The scribes and Pharisees interpreted the law as a justification for retaliation. The Lord reversed their interpretation, without abrogating the law, when He taught his disciples "that they resist not evil" (Matthew 5:38, 39). Indeed, the law operates both for him who does evil and for him who returns evil for evil. To the extent that we do evil, we bring evil upon ourselves.
Unlimited Power Available
20. When the odds seem to be against us in the soul’s conflicts the teaching of the Church admonishes us to fear not, "for the Lord your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, and to save you." It is bad policy to fight with a divided interest, or a faint heart. When attacking public problems we should be sure first that there is cause for an offensive. When evil resists interference we should promptly dispose of every argument in its favor. The men in foreign cities must be killed, the women and children saved. But in dealing with private evils of which we know the causes at work, we must save alive nothing that breatheth. During any prolonged siege we must refrain from indulging in personalities, and keep to the issues at stake (Deuteronomy 20).
Laws of Order
21. To hate anyone is to kill him. Sometimes we call hate righteous indignation. We then kill justifiably in self-defense or in the defense of others! Possibly. But some day we have to reckon with conscience, which demands an inquest of all the circumstances on which we base our judgment, and a searching of the heart to determine whether our feelings were innocent, or not. Indignation may be justified, but we stand in need of forgiveness, if there is even a trace of hatred mixed up in it.
Sometimes in such conflicts within we may use a line of defense to clear conscience that seems to be most plausible, but later proves to be untenable. Self-justifications that are untenable become part of our nature while we favor them, and are hard to give up. They must go without any thought of superiority in the sacrifice.
A man may love some of the teachings of his Church, and hate others. For example, it is not uncommon for men, and women too, to hate—at least in practice, if not in theory—the Lord’s counsel to greet tribulation with a cheer. The first-born of the practice of this teaching is the beginning of spiritual strength. Put to the test and withstanding it merits more commendation than Christian effort in well-doing that is wholly agreeable.
An ungovernable temper becomes second nature, and regarded as part of one’s ménage, must be condemned and dislodged. Some offenders were hanged, and others stoned in olden times. Stoning implies the refutation of falsehood by reason. Hanging represents condemnation and rejection of a passion, or lust, by force of will. To leave the body on a tree after sunset implied that the rejection was incomplete. We sometimes make a reservation. It is, however, useless to compromise with evil, when beyond question, or unmixed. "If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee" (Matthew 5:30).
22. The law requires restoration of a brother’s stray ox, or sheep. All deviations from the path of duty or rectitude should be set right as soon as they are discovered. Honest doubts may delay the disclosure of our errors. Similarly, faulty reasoning and equivocal language need rectification whenever found. Mannishness and effeminacy are undesirable characteristics in the sexes. Cruelty to animals is a bad offense. Plagiarism is still worse. In building character it is well to have sound reasons for our actions, or behavior, to avoid misunderstanding, if called in question. The Church—the vineyard—should confine her teachings to brotherly love—"the law and the prophets." In preparing the heart to receive seeds of truth it is useful to mark the distinction between reading God’s Word for practical instruction, and reading it to confirm doctrine, or dogma. There is also a difference between the appeal to perception and the appeal to reason. There is virtue in the letter of the Word—the hem of the Lord’s garment. Our words should always ring true. The outward life also should be single, unmixed with evil. This is involved in the laws of chastity in marital and premarital relationships (Deuteronomy 22).
23. The worship of the Lord should be freed from blemish in thought, and word and deed. Cleanliness is next to godliness. (Read 2 Corinthians 6:16–17:1.) Do not oppress a criminal. Do good to a brother, hoping for nothing in return. Look for improvement in those who do wrong, or hold what we believe to be false views in life, and stimulate the good in them. Engagements should be regarded as sacred obligations to be fulfilled with due regard to the good of all concerned. The fruits of experience in social or business life may profitably be shared with all who can appreciate and profit by them, but not for personal distinction or renown.
24. The law of purity requires complete divorce from popular teachings which experience proves to be immoral. Premature and superficial judgment frequently turns down many new teachings that merit impartial consideration. Every man must do his own grinding. His right to think and reason as he pleases is unimpeachable. Any denial of it through coercion or intolerance is a menace to his very life. To appropriate the truths of religion for self-advancement, and deny them in the heart, is profanation. Beware of such hypocrisy. "Lend, hoping for nothing again." Give information freely without figuring too closely on the returns. It takes time to dissociate the thought of merit, or hire, from services rendered. Failure to forgive as we are forgiven places sin at our own door. The gleanings of the cornfield, the vineyard and the olive grove are for the stranger, the orphan and the widow. Excellent advice in the letter, and in the spirit too! In the spiritual sense it goes still deeper. We should never rise from our study of the Word, or count our gains through life’s experiences, without feeling that we have more and yet more of the life of religion to learn from the Lord both for ourselves, and for others too.
25. We often discuss knotty problems in our hearts. The Lord, the judge, tempers the chastisement inseparable from temptation and sacrifice for the right even to the breaking point, but no further. "The wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10). In threshing out the lesson for each day—"our daily bread"—the natural man must be free, and under no restraint. As God grants us freedom, so should we extend the same to others. Offspring is the crown of life. The wife without issue is under reproach. The brother of a deceased husband, who refuses to remove that reproach, is a discredit to the family, justifying the renunciation of him as a member of it. We may find our standard in a particular line of conduct is nonproductive, and substitute for it another cognate standard that will not work. This seems to be applicable to our futile attempts to solve our social problems. In this connection also we should be on guard in fixing responsibility. "As we judge, so shall we be judged." The enemy that surreptitiously attempted to break down our morale, when first we sought the Christ life, still dogs our footsteps. "Thou shalt not forget it."
26. So soon as we have had our first taste of heavenly blessedness it becomes our first duty to share it with the Giver. The first fruits of the land and the tithes of the third year are symbols of the first fruits of the new life tendered in simplicity to the Lord in grateful recognition of his loving kindness. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits" (Psalm 103:2). This, however, does not mark the end of life’s journey. It is rather the commencement of a new cycle, with limitless possibilities of development on a higher plane in unfolding the deeper significance of these very statutes and judgments of the Lord. The good life everlastingly is a unit expressive of the Creator’s life in his creatures.
Blessings Inherent in Keeping the Law
27, 28. In conclusion Moses gives instruction to write the law on plastered stones, and ratify the covenant in assembly at Mount Ebal after entering into the land. Then follows a brief specification of blessings that follow obedience to the law, preceded by a long list of curses, that is succeeded by a still longer list of curses, for disobedience. The curses, like the negatives in the ten commandments, predominate; and they are terrible, and most of them difficult to apply to life. We cannot think of these curses as applicable to other people for their sins. Ours not to judge, or condemn!
And Curses in the Breaking of It
The curses, however, have a most practical bearing upon our own lives. Their prime purpose is to unveil the secret tendencies of the heart to diverge from the path of rectitude. It is a blessing that the meaning of the curses is veiled. Probably very few of us today are prepared to face the light. We could not stand reproof. The simplest wrong has a content, as also a contact with hell, of which we are almost wholly oblivious at the beginning. The pressure of the ocean is on the dikes of Holland. A hole in them at any point would soon let the ocean in and inundate the country, if not closed as soon as it appears. "Had not the Lord been on our side, when men rose up against us, the floods had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our souls" (Psalm 124:1, 4).The later experiences of the regenerate life uncover the content of what appears on the surface as a simple evil, as we are able to bear it. The history of Israel ends in the dispersion, and survival of a mere remnant. Life grows harder within, not easier. The curses are there like deepening shadows to intensify the highlights. The light is there for judgment, and increases only as the deeper evils in the heart are seen, and removed.
29, 30. Therefore the aged leader exhorts the people to obedience by the recollection of past experiences. The curse, or unhappiness, is our warning. "Those things are revealed to us, and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." The blessing and the curse, life and death, are there together that we may choose life. "That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him, for He is thy life and the length of thy days, that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." The choice is repeated indefinitely until the conflict is complete.
31. Moses invokes courage from the people, and from Joshua in particular. The Levites must read the law in the hearing of the people every seven years. The spirit of holiness in keeping the law must be ever present. To the charge to Joshua is added a song for the people to revive their courage in life’s conflicts, which are to follow.
32. Moses’ swan song extols the mercy and faithfulness of the Lord, and deplores the ingratitude and perversity of Jeshurun, his people, who have brought such a curse upon themselves. Nevertheless, the Lord will not permit the enemy to triumph. He will rescue his own even when ruin seems imminent. The cadence resounds with consolation and hope.
Moses’ Last Words
33. The premonition of his impending death gave Moses the cue to pronounce his benediction. His blessings differ from the blessings of Jacob. Jacob sees mainly the actual and potential character of his sons; Moses visualizes the tribes in the land fulfilling their glorious destiny under the guidance and protection of the God of Jeshurun. The prayer for Judah in its isolation forecasts the hand of Providence with the remnant of whom the Savior was born. The blessing of Levi exalts the authority of the law to save the nation from the consequences or rebellion. The rich blessing of Joseph falls to his children Ephraim and Manasseh, articulating the importance of understanding and of loving the Word for the good of all. Moses’ last words guarantee a supreme blessing to God’s people: "Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and the sword of thine excellency! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee: and thou shalt tread upon their high places."
Death and Burial of Moses
34. This ends the books of "the law." Taken in relation to "the prophets" these books make known the perpetual processes of man’s education for the life eternal. It is an end, and at the same time a commencement. Everything learned in regard to our duty to God and our fellowmen in infancy, childhood and youth gives us a vision from the heights of the nature and the possibilities of the heavenly life. It is all there in theory, or in the abstract. The meaning of it in practical life is now to follow on life’s battlefield. Before we can begin the real business of living, however, we must lose the conceit in our interpretation of the law that has been asserting itself more and more up to this point.
This has a parallel in the growth of self-confidence in acquiring a knowledge of earthly things. At first we accepted instruction on the authority of our parents and teachers without question, but gradually substituted the personal equation as we regarded our own opinion and feelings in comparison with those of other people, often to their discredit. The conclusion that we know it all closes the mind to further learning.
On the spiritual plane of life this presents a situation which is often emphasized by man’s estrangement from the Church, and the need of the Lord’s guidance and saving grace. Our salvation is dependent upon a complete surrender of the mind to the Lord’s guidance. The surrender of the will—the new birth—in the life of regeneration follows. But first comes submission to the Lord’s guidance in learning the practical meaning of the law, the law at work through conscience in relation to the problem of the day, or of the hour.
We have the vision—the theory—but debar ourselves from an understanding of its application to our inner life, except insofar as we become docile as a child. The Lord removes self-confidence from the heart when in humility we are prepared to learn of Him, and live from Him. Moses went up from the plains of Moab to the mountain top, saw the land, and then God took him. His body was "buried in a valley in the land of Moab, but no man knoweth of his sepulcher to this day." Burial means resurrection. The ever expanding vision of the possibilities of life is ours in perpetuity, as our pride in self-intelligence is removed from the heart by the Lord. The adjustment to the new situation has its difficulties. Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Henceforth the leadership of Israel is transferred from Moses to Joshua. "And the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses." How plain! Prophecy, which begins with Joshua, deals with the fulfillment of the law. It is the story of the spiritual life—the everlasting life of heaven through the conquest of self and the world.
To the biblical critic the structure of the books of the law presents many serious difficulties. These books seem to be the work of many authors and redactors. There are strong evidences of careful selection from various source materials, of a rearrangement of the parts, and of additions made long after the days of Moses from time to time. The construction and authenticity of the documents will always be an open question. But the unity of "the law" as a whole becomes more and more evident when seen in relation to the growth of the soul, and points clearly to the supervision, even to the very letter, of an Author who gave the law as man’s infallible guide to Himself as "the way, the truth and the life." "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me" (John 5:46). The soldiers parted the outer garments of the Lord, and cast lots for its parts. The inner garment was without seam, woven from the top throughout. One piece: the law of charity.
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