[quote=Chris W]God is our Father. If we consider the whole of the Bible as the salvation history of God’s people (as Scott Hahn calls it) we can view it as a Father raising His children.
When in infancy, a father must guide differently than when they are toddlers, and when they are adolescents, and teenagers, and young adults, and then as adults. A father might discipline more harshly at times, allow more rebellion seemingly without punishment at time, etc. Then, later on, having given the chilren all they need to know how to live, having given them the tools they need to succeed, a father might take a more subtle role in the lives of his children, still there whenever needed, still guiding, consoling, answering questions, even correcting, but in a different way then when they were immature.
I think most of the questions like you are asking can be answered in that light. For example, regarding divorce. Jesus said it was because of their stubbornness that divorce was permitted, but it was not what God intended. Now that Jesus as given us the grace to live according to God’s plan, it no longer is allowed, for there is no reason for God to allow it.
Excellent post. In one of the Biblical letters, the author describes the law using a word that doesn’t have a direct English translation. The word refers to someone who monitors a child’s expenditures in the case of an inheritance at a young age. When the child comes of age, the man is no longer needed. Basically the Jews are like the young child who receives an inheritance. A servant (the Law) is assigned to make sure he is careful with his money. Once the Jewish faith came of age (fullfillment by Christ), the Law was no longer needed.