Boundaries and Confusion - RR172V40

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Boundaries and Confusion
Course: Course - Leviticus; The Law of Holiness and Grace
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 40
Length: 0:32:12
TapeCode: RR172V40
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Leviticus The Law of Holiness and Grace.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission

Let us worship God. Our help is in the name of the Lord who made Heaven and earth. The hour cometh and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father is spirit and in truth. For the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Let us pray.

Almighty God our Heavenly Father, with joy and thanksgiving we come into Thy presence, thanking Thee for all Thy mercies and blessings, rejoicing in Thy government, Thy providential care, that all Thy promises to us in Jesus Christ which are ‘yea’ and ‘amen.’ Bless us this day as we give ourselves to the study of Thy word and grant that we, enlightened by Thy Word and by Thy spirit may be made more than conquerors through Christ our King. In His name we pray. Amen.

Our scripture is Leviticus 19:19. Our subject, “Boundaries and Confusion.” “Boundaries and Confusion,” Leviticus 19:19, “Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.”

This is a law with a long and curious history. Repeatedly, men have recognized from practical experience and more recently, from experiments, the truth of this statement. Biblical scholars have also at times noted its accuracy. More than a hundred years ago, Jamieson Fausset and Brown in their commentary noted that it was the experience in England that mingled seeds had a bad effect and were injurious both to the soil and to plants. And that garments of mingled linen and wool for example, were unhealthy. In our time, non-Christians having studied for example, the effect of garments of mingled thread have established that they are unhealthy. In fact, on such study, a full-length book, came to the conclusion that in due time, in not too many years, any such garments produced might have to have the warning label, “this garment may be hazardous to your health.” [00:03:52]

However, in spite of the fact that knowledge of the

However, in spite of the fact that knowledge of the truth of what is in Leviticus 19:19 is come to people from other sources. People in food and clothing and much more are governed more by styles and tastes than God’s Law or by health considerations. This is true in spite of the fact that God promise an abundant blessing for faithfulness to His law. Gordon Wenham has commented on this passage, “Man must keep separate what God created separate. No alliances with ungodly nations, no marriages with unbelievers, no hybridization.” We can add to that that the order of the World is a God-created order, and we should regard that order as sacred. Man must work within the framework of that order. But it has been a constant temptation to man to try to overthrow that order, to overturn it. And even some so-called Christians hold to such convictions. I recall shortly after World War II, some scientists who were “Christians,” who believed in Theistic Evolution, were sure that a crossbreed of donkeys and horses would produce mules that were fertile, and they actually claimed that one such had been produced. Of course, it was false.

But God’s Law is against confusion. In Deuteronomy 22:9-11, we are told,

9Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with diverse seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.

10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.

11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sorts, as of woolen and linen together.”

Another application of this same requirement is given in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” God’s fundamental order, in other words, must not be despised or violated. Homosexuals, feminists, and many scientists, however, that God’s order must not stand. And these groups and many others as well today are engaged in a total war against God’s order. They are determined to prove that God is wrong. [00:07:56]

Many, many efforts have been made over the centuries

Many, many efforts have been made over the centuries to undermine these laws. Every kind of evasion has been attempted. Because the Law forbids the gendering of animals with a diverse kind, every kind of effort has been made to weaken the force of that law. Going back to the rabbis of old and coming through the centuries to Christians, many have held that buying and using mules is not forbidden, only crossbreeding a horse and an ass to produce one. In other words, get as close to the edge of violation as you can. This is like saying it is illegal to steal but not illegal to receive stolen goods. Again, it has been said that this law is not binding for the priesthood of all believers, because the priests in the Bible wore both linen and wool. But that’s a misrepresentation. The Law does not say you cannot wear, let us say, a scarf made of wool and have a linen dress, or some garb, but that you cannot mingle the two materials, using threads of both in the same garment.

Now, this law begins with the declaration, “Ye shall keep my statutes.” The word ‘statutes’ in the Hebrew means “a decreed limit.” And God says, when he uses the word statutes (this particular Hebrew word so translated), “I’m giving you decreed limits. You are not to go beyond these limits because there are penalties when you do. The word is also translated as “ordinance” in Jeremiah 33:25. And of this, Rabbi Hertz wrote, “The word may mean here (that is, in Leviticus) as in Jeremiah 33:25, ‘fixed laws’ which God had instituted for the government of the physical universe. The purpose of the following regulations would then be: man must not deviate from the appointed order of things, nor go against the eternal laws of nature as established by Divine wisdom; what God has ordained be kept apart, man must not seek to mix together.”

Bush, an American scholar of the early years of the last century said of the words, “Ye shall keep my statutes,” that these words were inserted so that people should realize God takes seriously what to men is a minor matter. And because men will go through the Law and say, ‘well this is important but this isn’t,’ very often, God will preface what men would regard as insignificant, this particular law, Leviticus 19:19 with the words, “Ye shall keep my statutes” (my fixed limitations). So we have no right to say that this is important because we think it is, and that’s unimportant because we don’t think it matters much. If God said it, it is important. As a result, it is wrong for us to judge certain things as minor because they are minor to us. [00:13:02]

Bush noted further, ...

Bush noted further, “As to seeds, it would in many cases be very improper to sow different kinds in the same spot of ground. As many species of vegetables are disposed to mix and thus produce a very degenerate crop. Thus, if oats and wheat were sown together, the latter would be injured, the former ruined. The turnip and carrot would not succeed conjointly when either of them separately would prosper and yield a good crop. And if this be all that is intended, the precept here given is agreeable to the soundest agricultural maxims.” But men again and again are determined to prove that such laws are simply superstitions, that because somebody studied this, or reported on practical experience of this on the past, they are ignorant, and we are wiser, and we can prove they were wrong. And so, they sow various vegetables for example, between the rows of young vines or young fruit trees, with very sad results. Such practices are attempts to alter God’s fundamental order in creation, and what the commandment requires of us is godly sincerity—taking God at His word.

Now, we trust God. We take Him with sincerity if we pay attention to the least of His commandments as well as to the greatest. And yet, it’s amazing how many scholars who claim to be thoroughly biblical treat such laws, and in particular this law for example, with condescension. One such scholar has said that this is directed at what the Israelites regarded as ‘unnatural associations,’ In other words, it was a superstition on their part, and he said this law was “an inheritance from the distant past, just as our society still has customs that ultimately derived from a similar mode of thought.” As though it’s just an ancient custom that the Bible somehow included. [00:16:06]

On the other hand, one scholar, Ehler, in a long and

On the other hand, one scholar, Ehler, in a long and important comment went into the false approach to the Word of God. “The traditional division of the Law of Moses into moral, ceremonial, and juristic or judicial laws may serve to facilitate a general view of theocratic ordinances. But it is incorrect if it seeks to express a distinctive within the Law and to claim a difference of dignity for the various parts.” Now, if I may stop a moment. What he is saying is what I’ve said again and again, and others have said before me over the centuries. And yet, people go on saying there are three divisions in the law: moral, ceremonial, and civil or juridical. And that’s nonsense! Are the Books of Moses divided into such classifications? It’s all given as one Word of God. But they divide it so and they say then, we need to obey only the moral laws. Well to continue with Ehler’s comment, “For in the Law, the most inward commandment ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,’ stands right beside ‘thou shalt not sow thy field with two kinds of seed.’ Leviticus 19:18-19.

“That Israel must be holy like God is the ground alike of the command not to be defiled by eating the flesh of certain animals, and of the command to honor father and mother. In fact, the ceremonial law, so-called, to honor—gives special expression to the antagonism of the true religion to heathen nature worship by showing that while in the latter, God is drawn down into nature, in the former what is natural must be consecrated and hallowed to God. The whole law in all is parts has the same form of absolute unconditional command. Before the making of the covenant, the people had a choice whether they would bind themselves by the law that was to be given. But after they pledged themselves, all choice is taken away.

“Because of this strictly objective character of the law, human judgment cannot be allowed to make distinctions between the different precepts. Whether such distinctions are to be made can be decided only by the law-giver who appoints it is true, a severe punishment for certain moral abominations and for the transgression of such precepts as stand in immediate relation to the covenant idea; for example, circumcision, the Sabbath, etc., than for other transgressions. But so far as man is concerned, the most inconsiderable precept is viewed under the aspect of the obedience demanded by the whole law. ‘Cursed is he that fulfills not the words of this law to do them,’ Deuteronomy 27:26” [00:20:04]

Now, Ehlers stated it very clearly

Now, Ehlers stated it very clearly. Men want to wage war against God’s Law, because if they can pick and choose, then they can say in effect (though they don’t admit that they are saying that), that they are lord over the Word, that they are god over God! They can say what was a blunder on God’s part and what was sound judgment. And this is what they do.

It is interesting, for example, that today with herpes and AIDS in epidemic proportions, what does the U.S. Public Health Service do? In its official magazine, copies of which John Lofton sends me, there’s virtually nothing on either of these—virtually nothing. And yet, the most recent issue has an article about experiments conducted—no doubt with your money and mine—to determine the harmful effects of circumcision, because they are determined that it has to be injurious. But much as they stack the decks, they had to conclude after giving all kinds of inference that it must be bad, that the results were inconclusive. Now, with serious epidemics all over the world, this is what they’re doing—trying to say that circumcision, which has been demonstrated in the past to be healthy in its consequences, is bad for you while they protect AIDS. This is the perversity of men. [00:22:29]

These laws in Leviticus forbid the lowering of God

These laws in Leviticus forbid the lowering of God-created distinctions. It is the direction of sin to blur and finally erase all God-ordained boundaries. This is man’s original sin working—to obliterated the boundary between God and man and say, ‘yea hath God said? Well God may say it, but I have a right to disagree! I have the right to say no to it because we shall be as gods, knowing, determining for ourselves what is good and evil, what is law and not law.’

Over the centuries, going back to the days of Moses and earlier, men have made it a religious act to perform acts to confound God’s divisions, God’s laws, so that in many of the cults of antiquity and some still surviving, such things as homosexuality, bestiality and much, much more have been required in order to blur the God-given lines. They have been declared to be affirmations—religious affirmations of man’s freedom and power. But let us remember: whenever you have an insistence on destroying God’s Laws, it goes hand-in-hand with an insistence on obedience to man-made laws! God’s Laws can be treated with contempt. They can be set aside with pious so-called dispensational excuses—but you had better obey the IRS! That’s a serious matter in the eyes of man. And you had better obey every nonsensical law that Congress and the State Legislature and the County Supervise and the City Fathers issue. We should not be surprised that violation of tax laws can sometimes now lead to more severe penalties than murder.

There’s a young man of an old American family whose father and grandfathers and great-grandfathers have held office in New York State and in the localities thereof, who ‘s now up on trial for tax evasion. It amounts to about $9,000. But the IRS is going to try to put him away for 220 years and fine him a million or something like that. But the papers on Friday, I believe, told of the man who kidnapped a girl in 1979 in the Bay Area, raped her repeatedly, drove across the state and dumped her in Mid-Nevada, and to make sure that she did not live, cut off her legs. She survived. Now he’s going to be paroled apparently, if those who are seeking to block it fail in their efforts. That, for someone who violated God’s Law—parole, but an effort for 222 years for a $9,000 tax evasion. [00:27:11]

As we trivialize God’s Law, we see the exaltation of

As we trivialize God’s Law, we see the exaltation of Man’s law. There is an inner logic in man’s Statism and lawlessness, you see. There is an insistence on denying God-given boundaries, and it has many facets. Dorothy and I recall very vividly reading in the mid-50s the comments of an economic commentator, Baxter, who predicted that in a few years we were going to see the insistent rise in every sphere of unisex ideas, of attempts to blur the distinction between male and female, and since then we have had that and much, much more.

God’s Laws are case laws. They give us minimal example which is applicable across the boards. If vegetable seeds are not to be mingled, nor an ass or a horse cross bred, then in the human realm it follows that the confusion of God-ordained boundaries is even more serious. The boundaries set by God shall stand. Those who deny them shall destroy themselves because they have denied the fundamental order of life and being. As God says, “He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul. All they that hate me love death.” Let us pray.

Oh Lord our God, we give thanks unto Thee for Thy Word, and grant that in all things we may take Thee seriously, that we may obey Thee with all our heart, mind and being, that by Thy spirit we may be filled with obedience, power and become more than conquerors in Christ. In His name we pray. Amen. [00:30:06]

Are there any questions now on our lesson?...

Are there any questions now on our lesson?

Well, if there are no questions, let us conclude with prayer.

Make us ever joyful, Oh Lord in Thy Word, for Thy Word is light and life unto us. Make us joyful in one another, joyful in our salvation, and ever-triumphant in Thy service. And now go in peace. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you this day and always. Amen. [00:31:48]

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