"God sending a bear to maul children to death for making fun of a bald man? Sure it's wrong of those kids, but they're kids, and mauled to death? I checked the context and basically the story is what it appears to say."
What's missing in your analysis is a proper understanding of the role and authority God gave his prophets in the Old Testament. They weren't just common preachers - they were God's appointed emissaries to deliver His very words to the Israelites. Any affront to them was taken by God as an affront to Himself. By mocking the prophet, those kids were in effect mocking God. The Old Covenant was of Law, not Grace. As a consequence, punishment was usually swift and harsh.
As for Leviticus 21, again I suggest you find better counsel. I'll only state one reason for the discrimination. Being under the Law, the priestly ceremonies could only be performed by men who represented Israel's best, including outward appearance. Just as the tithe was to be given from first fruits, the best of the field and flock. Just as a sacrificial lamb had to be without spot or blemish. These were types or shadows of the true perfection in the Christ to come.
Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father
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