Today’s Reading: Leviticus 27:1-34; Numbers 1:1-54
There was a time in the history of the United States when a whole man was not a whole man. Sure he was biologically a man, but his value when counting him was less than a man.
Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution originally said the following:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (Later repealed in 14th Amendment in 1866)
According to the originally intent, slaves were worth 3/5 of a free man and Indians were not worth counting. Kind of amazing to read that isn’t it. Kind of sad. Thankfully after the Civil war and the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves, the 14th Amendment corrected this injustice.
Today we run across an odd paragraph about the value of people.
Leviticus 27:1 – 2 NLT
If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate someone to the Lord by paying the value of that person, 3 here is the scale of values to be used
Boy oh boy is that list politically incorrect. It would never fly these days – and it shouldn’t should it? We know better these days.
Sure that is an old testament passage, just like the original Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution, a change came later. What does the New Testament, like the 14th Amendment say about the value of people.
Matthew 18:1 – 5 NIV
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Matthew 19:30 NIV
30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
Galatians 3:26 NIV
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
Matthew 10:30 – 31 NIV
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Lastly God wants everyone know that he sent Jesus to die for everyone, whoever, equally:
John 3:16 NIV
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.