May 1, 2020
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.Exodus 20:2
If we remember back to our understanding of God as creator, we discovered that being the creator of all things gave God authority over all things.
As we read about God giving Moses the law (Read here) we see a second reason why God has authority over us. He is the one who rescued Israel from Egypt, which is a picture of how he rescues each of us from sin. Jesus the Passover lamb defeating death, just as the Passover lamb in exodus protected from the angel of death.
God has the right to give us laws to live by because he created us and redeemed us.
Laws generally make sense when they are viewed in context. For example, today it is against the law to congregate in groups larger than 2 people. We are not allowed to have friends over to visit our own homes, and it is currently against the law for us to meet as a church.
If I had described these laws this time last year, we would never have believed such a thing was possible. We would have been protesting such an infringement on civil rights. That was before Covid-19. Today, these laws make sense because we want to prevent the spread of the virus.
Some people have argued that God’s law is not appropriate, it is to harsh, unfair even. It is not suitable for today’s society. If we are to live in a society where my desires, how I am impacted by other people and circumstances, where my rights are central then yes, God’s law does appear unreasonable.
This is not the context in which they are given. Scripture has a different worldview, one where the individual is not king. Scripture’s worldview is one where God is king, and the community is second. The individual, far from being central must fit in with the needs of the community and the community fits in with the needs of God.
When we take the time to look at how God has structured his law, we see the first 4 laws tell us how we relate to God.
- You shall have no other God’s before me (God is supreme)
- You shall not make an idol or image and bow down to it. (Worship God alone)
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord (God is to be revered)
- You shall keep the Sabbath holy (Quality time with God is to be guarded)
The last 6 commandments set out how we are to relate to one another.
- Honour your father and mother (The importance of family respect)
- You shall not murder (The importance of valuing all life)
- You shall not commit adultery (The importance of honest relationships)
- You shall not steal (Respect for one another’s property)
- You shall not give false testimony (The importance of a fair society)
- You shall not covet (The destructive nature of jealousy)
This same principle of God coming first, then society and finally me is prevalent throughout God’s law. The question then is what sort of world do we want to live in? A world where I am more important than anyone else, or one where I fit into a bigger picture where people work together for the benefit of one another and the glory of God?
Prayer Father forgive my selfishness. Forgive my need to have my wants granted no matter the cost to others. Forgive me for blaming my broken relationships on other people. Help me to see how I need to change in order to become a better part of society that brings glory to your name. Amen