Law: For Our Good

     Moses explained the purpose for law to his people in Deuteronomy 10:12-13: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” Simply put, the Law of Moses was for Israel’s own good.

     We live in times of selective antinomianism. The dictionary describes an antinomian as someone who does not “recognize the obligatoriness of moral law.” Most folks do recognize reality of physical law: gravity, for example, reinforces its authority every time we fall down. But these days most people reject absolute moral law whether its source is in natural reality or God’s Word. As Richard Weaver (Ideas Have Consequences) said, “We have for many years moved with a brash confidence that man had achieved a position of independence which rendered the ancient restraints needless.”

     Well, the ancient restraints are not needless. The Law of Moses was very much needed by Israel then and “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2) is essential for us today. This antinomianism, the idea that in the realm of morality and personal ethics man does not have or need a law external to himself, is pernicious.

     Evidence of the deleterious results of banishing moral law is all across society. The poorly informed see moral law as an impediment to doing whatever they please whenever they please. The badly educated view the existence of law as a personal affront, as if their magnificent perspectives should never be subjected to correction. This lawlessness accounts for both senseless physical violence (the idea that you have what I want so I will take it) and the intellectual violence of pretending that things like the biological reality about gender does not exist.

     With disastrous results we are in process of coming full circle to the time when God, through Patriarchy and then Moses, worked to educate humanity again that law is an essential construct. Without law we crumble; we are crumbling even now. What form God’s lessons will take, we cannot know. But I doubt we will miss His point.

     We should remember what Moses told his people. God’s law was for their good. We know that it is so. We see it every day when a mother restricts freedom or enjoyment of the moment because she knows what is good for the child. Mother’s law is good for us. God’s law is good for us too.

     Most of us say, “Well, sure!” But then we are apprehended by a particular law of God’s that requires a modification of our behavior. It is then that we try to find a way to make law malleable. We do not want it to be absolute like steel; instead we want it to be like modeling clay, so we can shape it to fit our momentary desires.

     Examples are numerous. A person slips a little money from the cash register at work. Everybody else does it! We expect the politicians to lie because they all do. No matter the example, these dangerous behaviors flow out of the false idea that moral law is not absolute.

     But it is. God has revealed in His Word the moral law that is for our good! We know God’s marriage law (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-9, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Corinthians 6:18). If we live by that law God will bless us. His plan for the way men and women are to live is not to be violated. We know God’s law concerning our ability to speak (James 3, Colossians 3:9). We also know the pain that gossip and lies create. God knows that staying out of that kind of behavior is good for us.

     Law has indeed fallen on hard times. But we will fall on harder times yet if we refuse to see the blessings of living according to God’s law (Psalm 119:113). His law is for our good.