Now one of the amazing things about God's word is that it is alive and God can show you new things every time you read. You could read the same passage every day for a month or more and God could show you something new every day. Seriously!
So, I decided to give it a try. Here's a little sample of what I read:
4 ‘These are the appointed times of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month [a]at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. 8 But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.’” (Leviticus 23:2-8 taken from Biblegateway.com).
Not real exciting reading. And this little section isn't the most tedious of the chapters I read.
And do you know what I thought about? First, like I've thought in the past -- so glad we don't have to keep all the rules about days and sacrifices in our Christian faith. Second, and here is the new insight for me -- through all the regulations and the details God was teaching His people how think differently. They had been living in Egyptian society for hundreds of years. Yes, they were still Hebrew and they were slaves but living in a culture rubs off on you in ways you don't even realize. They had to learn how to think as free people. They had to learn how to follow God in everything. They had to learn how to trust Him. So much they had to learn - so much I can't even fathom.
And I realized this is what God is doing for each of us all the time. We are having to learn how to think like Him and view life from His perspective. We live in a culture that has permeated us deeply. It just happens. We need to unlearn how to live life. And this takes a lifetime. We are never done unlearning while on this earth. We can be serving God for decades and not realize somewhere along the way we picked up a very ungodly way of looking at a certain subject. God doesn't condemn this. He reveals this to us and then proceeds to help us think rightly.
And those problems that go on and on and come back over and over in your life are very likely areas that really need to be unlearned. And that takes a very long time.
"make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame, may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed." Hebrews 12:13
This is what God is doing with the life we have. In life we can sustain an injury -- a broken leg for example. In order to get that leg back to working order we have to focus on it and do the things that need doing so it can heal correctly. That's what's happening within us if we allow it.