If I had written the LAW

by Jim on 27 June 2010

I realized something last week.  I think if I had written the law – like, God’s Law – I would have done some things differently.

There’s been lots to think about as we’ve gone through the Bible in our Chronological Bible Study.  I haven’t written much about it – but here are some thoughts about last week’s study.  The theme was the LAW – as given to Moses.  Our readings were mostly from Exodus and Deuteronomy.

So here’s what I would have done if I had given the law (assuming, of course, that I was God.  Thankfully, I’m not!).

All right, everybody.  Here’s my Law.  It’s perfect, just like me.  It’s practical, useful, and will make your lives generally better.

This Law is not optional.  You have to obey it – ALL of it.  No kidding.

What happens if you don’t?  Here’s the thing.  If you keep the Law, things will go really well for you.  I’ll bless you, big time.

But if you start breaking the Law, things won’t go so well.  That’s right, if you break 1% of the Law, that’s 1% of blessing you won’t get.  It’s gets worse – instead of that 1% of blessing, you’re going to get 1% of the curses.  Things will go badly for you.  The more you break the law, the worse things will get.  So behave yourselves!

Ok, maybe that’s not really what I would have done, but that’s the way we often think about the law – in comparison with what God actually said.  Notice the difference – let me paraphrase.

All right, everybody.  Here’s my Law.  It’s perfect, just like me. … et cetera … This Law is not optional … et cetera

But here’s where it gets different:

If you keep the Law – ALL of it – I will bless you big time.

However, if you break ANY of it – just 1% – one little law – I won’t send these blessings your way at all.  I’ll send you all the curses instead!

That’s right, they had to keep ALL the law.  The scary thing is, they said they would (Exo 24:7).

Then in Deuteronomy, here’s exactly what the deal was (emphasis mine):

And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God….

But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you…

(Deut 28:1,2,15)

Then he goes on to list the blessings and curses.

Then, of course, along comes Jesus.  And He starts reminding everyone that they need to obey all the Law from their hearts – not just externally.  That messes up the whole system of rules that some of the religious leaders had come up with.  Jesus tells everyone they need to be even more righteous than all those rule-keepers! (Mat 5:20)

And just in case it wasn’t clear, James starts talking to us about showing favouritism.  And he tells us in James 2:10 that if we keep the whole law – and then fail in just one point – we’re accountable for all of it!

So much for the nice sliding scale – I mostly keep it – I’m not so bad – and all that.  So much for doing just enough so that God will bless you somehow.  So much for being a "nice person" – and being proud of it.

The entire Law was designed to show us our sin – and to remind us to throw ourselves on God’s mercy.  The Law forces people to look for a Saviour – it brings people to Christ.

Maybe that’s what Paul was talking about in Galatians.  I’ll end with his words:

But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.  So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

(Gal 3:22-27)

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