“You are not to boil a kid in the milk of its mother.” This odd commandment is repeated three times in the law. God must think it’s important. But what does it mean?
Jews interpret it as a food law that forbids them to eat milk and meat together. But the law is more specific. It doesn’t prohibit cooking meat with milk; it forbids seething a kid in its own mother’s milk. Mother’s milk should nourish her kid goat. It should give life, not kill.
Whenever we use God’s gifts to kill rather than to give life, we boil kids in mother’s milk. It happens all the time.
The temple became a haven for cruel oppressors; too often, the church has been the same. Jews and Christians have forged Sabbath laws that were designed to refresh life into bludgeons. Jews used the milk of the law to boil the Lamb of God.
This law has specific application to our families. God calls you parents to make your homes places of abundant, joyful life. When you fill your home instead with harshness, strife, hateful words, revenge, bitter resentments, and anger, it’s no wonder your kids want to leave before they get boiled to death.
Jesus reiterated this law in His own teaching. One of His sternest warnings was directed to those who cause little ones who believe to stumble: “it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 6:42 am
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