It is sometimes observed that the God of the Old Testament law was stark, unforgiving, and even harsh. That view misses entirely the fact that the very giving of the Law as a communication from God is a manifest token of His love for the people He chose to be His. Though the demands of the Law might have been rigid, the ultimate purpose of the Law was to reveal to those people the way to fellowship with Him, ultimately in the Person of His Son. To any who might think that the character of God has changed, I would submit two illustrations.
The opening chapters of the Book of Numbers give a prosaic recitation of the ordering of the host. Arriving at chapter seven, which is the longest chapter in Numbers, we read a catalogue of the gifts of the princes. These gifts were given voluntarily by the leaders of each of the twelve tribes. What is remarkable about this chapter is that the leaders all gave identical gifts. Therefore, one recording of the gifts with the mention of the heads of each tribe would have been sufficient. Instead, each prince is identified individually and
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