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Thursday, 03 June 2021 00:00

Training Days

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Exodus 23:1–19

The wisdom is unmistakable. Being faithful as a truth-teller establishes and confirms identity. This is as authentic today as when God’s instructions were first provided. 

During training days, when the people of God were being called, formed, and enlightened as to their new identity, specific instructions were provided. Exodus 23 specifies a few of these, some of which remain among the elementary truths of our Faith: “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness” (Exodus 23:1).

There was an extensive pagan culture long ago. The training day instructions were vital in shaping the people while laying out particulars for the new nation; yes, they were to be a peculiar people, a royal priesthood called into holiness. 

In this way, God’s spoken instructions, apparently later to be written, functioned as the teacher, the trainer, the tutor; or, in the words of an earlier day in our language, the pedagogue was functioning as intended. It is an old word and has slipped into near archaic language. Yet the pedagogue remains a perfectly acceptable way of imaging how God interacted and continues to interact with disciples.

Our brother Paul once wrote: “Wherefore the law was our pedagogue in Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after the faith has come, we are no longer under a pedagogue.” (Galatians 3:24-25 Douay-Rheims translation of 1899, American Edition)

A contemporary translation is provided by the New International Version: “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.”

Life Applications

Do parts of God’s elementary instructions, regardless of the era in which they were first delivered, encourage decisive behaviors for you?

An extensive resource hyperlink—if you choose to invest more time in understanding God’s identification of the pedagogue, the guardian, the trainer, the tutor: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1114&context=sor_fac_pubs

~ajs

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"Your word is truth," said Jesus to his Father (John 17:17). We want to build our lives on this truth. The Bible is God's self-revelation, given to us so that we can know him and his Son Jesus.