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I desire mercy, not sacrifice...


frankenstein

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Yes, I realize I am asking the same question Jesus instructed the Pharisees to do.

Just looking at the Law of Moses, the law seems pretty devoid of mercy, but for those cities whereunto a person could seek sanctuary.

Do you think "I desire mercy," pertained the whole of Law of Moses, mainly the eye for an eye type things, or gathering sticks on the Sabbath?

And if the mercy in that statement was the ideal, why confuse the House of Israel with requiring the death penalty for many acts?

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I'm no LDS member, but I think I've got an answer which would jive with you guys.

"Eye for eye" is not "If someone takes your eye, you are commanded no matter what to take there's". Why else would they have had sacrifice's for sins? When the de-eyed one forgives, and the de-eyer sacrifice's for their sin, then everything's cool.

Or so they thought. Much like in Pr, when the adulterous woman says somehting to the effect of "I have just given my evening sacrifice. Come over and eat what's left, and afterwards we'll get it on!" Yeah, she might've given the sacrifice, but she didn't exactly have faith/righteousness, etc.

In the same way, a de-eyer could've been forgiven by the de-eyed, and then given the proper sacrifice thus in HUMAN eyes (no pun intended) "gotten out of" or "taken care of" the sin and thus have a good standing before God as well. But notice HUMAN- God sees the heart, and could see if the man really had mercy, obedience, faith, etc.

Thus, God desires mercy, and not mere sacrifice. Faith cmes first and shoyuld result in sacrifice, but if faith comes without the opportunity for sacrifice, you're still good- but if sacrifice comes with no faith, it's pointless.

= = =

Like I said, I'm no LDS member, so I'm going staright from the Bible and "traditional" Christian tradition, teaching, experience, etc. So if any LDS sees aything wrong with what I said, it's probably for that reason. Just saying. :P

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I am not familiar with all things the House of Israel was to offer sacrifice for.

Perhaps the one whose eye was taken was to have mercy, but first the one who took the eye should of had mercy in not taking the eye.

Yes, good point. Have mercy first, and therefore sacrifice isn't even necessary. But it does seem that a majority of Jesus' teachings was about loving your enemies, and tat we'd be persecuted for our faith and such. Seems God's main desire was 1) don't cause conflict, and 2) when conflict comes upon you don't continue it.

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I would say that they were given a minimum standard at which God would justify their actions and then were shown at times the higher standard that God would actually prefer them to follow but did not require of them at that time.

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From what I understand, this verse is employing a rhetorical strategy to emphasize the necessity of authentic commitment to the covenant on the part of the worshiper. In this verse it isn't saying that sacrifice is bad or done away, but that hypocritical or going-through-the-motions sacrifice doesn't cut it. Jesus quotes this verse in an interesting context: the Temple, calling for

the right disposition, which includes reconciliation. (The usual translations of Hoses 6:6 are poor, since they use "mercy" to render Hosea's Hebrew hesed. Greek had no word for hesed, obedience to the covenant, and so regularly used eleos, mercy. As to our version "more than," this reflects the proper sense of the Hebrew, which lacked the degrees of comparison, and so would commonly say: "I want one thing,not another," when the sense was really, "I want one thing more than another").

I recently read some interesting commentary on this in John Meier's A Marginal Jew vol. 4, but I don't have it with me. I googled key words I recalled from the book and came up with that quote above from a commentary here:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/MATTHEWM.TXT

Can't vouch for that source, but it matches the Meier discussion fairly well.

The whole of Meier's volume 4 pertains to the question of Jesus's relation to the Law of Moses. He is coming from a historical angle, not a theological one, to arrive at firm conclusions about what the actual records say, and which of them may most likely come from the historical Jesus. In regards to the question of Jesus and the Law he repeats over and over,

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Frank,

You have to look at the main reason the Mosaic law was given.

Yet the Lord God saw that his people were a stiffnecked people, and he appointed unto them a law, even the law of Moses. ~ King Benjamin

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. ~ Paul

Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. ~ Jesus Christ

The law was a schoolmaster to bring a hard-hearted people to Christ. Was does it mean to bring someone to Christ? Why does anyone come unto Christ? They discover their own fallen nature and realize they desire mercy instead of justice. They seek a way to repair the brokenness in their lives and the heartache caused by their sins.

Paul explained the introduction of the lower law in this way:

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lehi explained it similarly in 2 Nephi 2 when he said that if there were no law there would be no sin.

Our inevitable violation of the law allows us to recognize our need. Once we repent and turn toward Christ (which happens individually AND communally), we begin to learn the defining attribute of God - love - and how His loves saves. Thus the law does two things. It opens our eyes to our fallen nature and it marks the path to reconciliation.

Notice how little respect Christ had for the law when He healed on the Sabbath. The law is made for man not man for the law.

Now ask yourself what it says about us as a people that we have to be told how many pair of earrings to wear or what color shirt is appropriate for passing the sacrament.

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I am not familiar with all things the House of Israel was to offer sacrifice for.

Perhaps the one whose eye was taken was to have mercy, but first the one who took the eye should of had mercy in not taking the eye.

I think the contradiction is a result of your conflating different topics.

Look at Hosea in context. His description of God's relationship to Israel revolves around the language of kinship. YHWH is the divine kinsman, and the husband. He promises to protect, support, and prosper his kin. Whilst his people are supposed to keep his cultus, the thing he wants most from them is hesed, or familial loyalty. This is the word translated as mercy. it is the proper way to treat family members, and there is no more fitting response to recieving soemthing from the kinsman than showing hesed to another. This certainly does not mean that justice can't be sought. Indeed it has to be present in order to prevent the kinsmen from fracturing into separate groups.

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Good point about the law being a "school master" (as Paul put it). But:

Notice how little respect Christ had for the law when He healed on the Sabbath.

He was not going against the law here, There is no law in the Torah about heling on the sabbath. If he was going against any "law" it would've been those oral traditions of men which Jesus spoke of.

Thus, I agree tat the law had a very practical effect, but God s so smart that He could make it have a practical as well as eternal effect. The eternal being "Here's the punishment, BUT here's a substitute (the anmal sacrifices [and eventualy Jesus' own sacrifice]) for the punishment, thus you can either practice justice alone, or justice and mercy".

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Good point about the law being a "school master" (as Paul put it). But:

He was not going against the law here, There is no law in the Torah about heling on the sabbath. If he was going against any "law" it would've been those oral traditions of men which Jesus spoke of.

An excellent point. Nowhere in the Torah is there any commandment against healing on the Sabbath. Interesting....

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He was not going against the law here, There is no law in the Torah about heling on the sabbath. If he was going against any "law" it would've been those oral traditions of men which Jesus spoke of.

The subcurrent of pharisees that became Rabbinic Judaism also went against those oral traditions.

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An excellent point. Nowhere in the Torah is there any commandment against healing on the Sabbath. Interesting....

As I understand it was not "The Torah commands though shall not heal on the sabbath" but rather it was "The Torah commands though shall not work on the Sabbath" that caused the offense in the offended.

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I got interested in the "mercy and not sacrifice" passages because of the promise attached to it in Matthew 12.

1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:

10

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He was not going against the law here, There is no law in the Torah about heling on the sabbath. If he was going against any "law" it would've been those oral traditions of men which Jesus spoke of.

Thus, I agree tat the law had a very practical effect, but God s so smart that He could make it have a practical as well as eternal effect. The eternal being "Here's the punishment, BUT here's a substitute (the anmal sacrifices [and eventualy Jesus' own sacrifice]) for the punishment, thus you can either practice justice alone, or justice and mercy".

An excellent point. Nowhere in the Torah is there any commandment against healing on the Sabbath. Interesting....

I understand what you are both saying - the verse actually says man was not made for the Sabbath which is, as you well know, part of the law. What was He saying about the Sabbath in your opinions?

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Yes, I realize I am asking the same question Jesus instructed the Pharisees to do.

Just looking at the Law of Moses, the law seems pretty devoid of mercy, but for those cities whereunto a person could seek sanctuary.

Do you think "I desire mercy," pertained the whole of Law of Moses, mainly the eye for an eye type things, or gathering sticks on the Sabbath?

And if the mercy in that statement was the ideal, why confuse the House of Israel with requiring the death penalty for many acts?

The Law of Moses was given by God as a code for governing a community. While it left little room for government officials to extend mercy it was effective in binding them together as a people. Mercy is left to God who can extend mercy to whomever he will after the mortal penalties have been enforce. Thus it combines mercy with a tight binding government structure.

Just a few of my thoughts.

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The life of the law is that love of God comes first, love of others comes second, and all the law derives from that. Those who fail to see that love is the primary value and who use the law (i.e. some sacrifice) to justify their own harshness, intolerance, and lack of charity may indeed condemn the guiltless. The guiltless, in this case is Christ, and Nephi tells us that the law typifies Christ, and Paul tells us that it is a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. So uses of the law that blind us to its source and object characteristically display a lack of mercy.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Kevin,

I understood the law to be a type "of his coming" meaning His condescension (Alma 25:15) and the outward performances were foreshadowing the sacrifice that would offer salvation. Is that what you are saying?

MnG

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Didn't read all responses, but here's mine.

Israel had just left the fleshpots of Egypt. They had lived for centuries under a program of multiple gods, idol worship, incest (Pharaohs married their sisters) and adultery, etc. Moses first attempted to bring Israel the full gospel of Christ at Sinai, but they refused it by their revelry and refusing to ascend the mount to see God. So, God took the higher law and Melchizedek Priesthood from their midst, and gave them the lower law and the Aaronic Priesthood as a terrestrial law to follow (D&C 84). It was not Christ's law, but much better than the Egyptian program.

The mercy was much better than what was done before. If I took your eye, you would not only take my life, but wipe out my family. Family feuds (Hatfields and McCoys) would last for years, causing chaos and struggle. For a fledgling nation of former slaves, it would require a tough law to train them to live a terrestrial law, in order to bring peace and stability to the nation as a whole. The law may have at times seemed harsh, but it was less harsh than what came before, and it provided a quick method to handle all problems without having to take each one to Moses for judgment.

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Mercy is left to God who can extend mercy to whomever he will after the mortal penalties have been enforce.

I don't know about that. Mormon seemed to expect the Nephites to be more merciful. He didn't relegate mercy to God alone. Otherwise, why would he so passionately lament:

O the depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy.

He seems to be equating social depravity with a lack of order and mercy.

We are commanded to show mercy and warned that not doing so will result in our being judged by the same standard we use to judge others:

For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. ~ James 2:13

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What an utter disappointment! :P

When I read the thread title and clicked on it (I desire mercy), I thought I was going to read about a board member/secret admirer who had a huge crush on MercyNGrace.

What an enormous let down!

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Another point:

We need to separate out Doctrine, Principles, and Rules/regulations/guidelines.

Each builds upon the one before it. Doctrines and Principles do not change, but rules can.

The Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses are rules, based upon the principles of Love, obedience and holiness. You'll note that the 10 Commandments break into two parts: commandments to follow God, and commandments regarding our relationship with our fellow man. Each of the other Mosaic rules led as a schoolmaster to Christ, or led to the higher law and priesthood built upon doctrines and principles that do not change. Christ could fulfill the Law of Moses, because it was not key principles and doctrines, but rather rules to lead the people to the Law of Christ, which IS based on principles (faith in Christ, repentance, charity, patience, etc), and Doctrines (God lives, Jesus is the Christ, We are children of God).

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could be viewed as the same as picking up sticks, walking more than 20 paces, pushing a button on an elevator.

Jesus pointed out to his critics that the law has exceptions - an ox in the mire will be pulled out, for instance. Healing on the sabath is apparently another exception.

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