When God gave the principles of the law at Sinai, he did not express every possible application according to every issue that would bob forth from the flux of human relationships. Rather, He has left the specific applications of his unchanging principles to us.
About 38 years after God gave the law at Sinai, the daughters of a fellow named Zelophehad came to Moses with a complaint. Their father had died in the wilderness with near all the of the rest of Israel, but without any sons. These ladies asked Moses why the name of their father should be done away with simply because he had only daughters. They then made their claim to Moses: we should share in the inheritance our father’s property.
Moses took their request before the Lord, who affirmed these ladies point of view, commanding that they share in the inheritance from their father. The Lord went on to give specific guidance of inheritance in cases where a man had no sons but only daughters.
The principles of the law never change, but the persons and circumstances subject to the principle do change and require fresh application. Thus, John the apostle says, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning.” Speaking of the same commandment, he then refers to it in its fresh application: “Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past and the true light now shines.”
copyright © 2008 by Brent Winters