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The Law
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New International Version
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

New Living Translation
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.

English Standard Version
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

Berean Study Bible
Jesus answered, “It was because of your hardness of heart that Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but it was not this way from the beginning.

Contemporary English Version
Jesus replied, “You are so heartless! That’s why Moses allowed you to divorce your wife. But from the beginning God did not intend it to be that way

The above is from Matthew 19:8.

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Jesus Teaching

New International Version
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.

New Living Translation
But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts.

English Standard Version
And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.

Berean Study Bible
But Jesus told them, “Moses wrote this commandment for you because your hearts were hard.

That is from Mark 10:5

Both are from when Jesus was explaining the law of God to an audience and they challenged him based on provisions in the law of Moses.  The response they received from the Christ was that what they saw as their right was actually their condemnation.  God allowed them to do things not because it was right, but because their hearts were so hard that they could not abide the law of God.File:Constantinople(1878)-public typist.png

There are other instances where prophets allowed the people to have their own way.

1Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2Aaron saidto them, “Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives,your sons,and your daughters, and bring them to me.” [and then he made the golden calf for them]

No one looking at that story concludes that God approved of the golden calf.

Too often we look at things we cannot explain that look less that optimal and wonder what was God’s purpose.  Instead we well should ask, what was our weakness, our hardness of heart that God gave us a lesser law.

Well worth thinking about.

Perhaps instead we should be asking God to make us a higher law, a higher love.

What do you think?

What parts of the past, what laws that we follow do you suspect we have not because it was God’s will but because our hearts were too hard to accept the higher law, the law that God intended to write in our hearts if we had been willing to give room to it?

What are the higher laws?

Images from wikimedia commons.