Moses seemed to love laws.
He gave the nation of Israel over 600 of them, including the famous Ten Commandments. Those who read the entire Bible often get bogged down in Exodus and Leviticus. They get tired of Moses’ endless rules governing moral, civil, and ceremonial conduct.
Yet these decrees reflect the character of God. His goodness, justice, and righteousness come through each statute. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is King David’s extravagant love poem to the law of God.
If the nation of Israel had obeyed God’s laws, those laws would have made Israel distinct and different. Israel would have reflected his perfection and brought his glory to the nations. God promised that if his people followed his decrees, they would thrive, and if they didn’t obey, they would suffer. With sporadic exceptions, they failed to obey God. Yet that very failure signaled something about God’s ultimate redemptive plan.
The apostle Paul later explained how our failure to keep the law points to Jesus. We love or hate rules depending on whether they condemn us or justify us. When a law protects us, we heartily approve. When we break a law, we often resent it.
The law makes us aware of our failure to obey God in our own strength, but if it also makes us aware of our need for a Savior, then it is a beautiful thing.
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:20-22).
Yes, the law makes us aware of our failure to obey God in our own strength, but if it also makes us aware of our need for a Savior, then it is a beautiful thing.
Lord God, thank you for giving us your law, which helps us understand your goodness, your wisdom, your love, and your holiness. But in giving us your law, you caused us to realize that it is impossible for us to follow it in our own strength. Thank you that now that we are in Christ, your Holy Spirit enables us to go beyond the law to obey you fully from the heart, not in our own strength, but in yours, given to us by grace.
Throughout This Day: Thank God for the gift of his Holy Spirit, who enables us to know God, hear his voice, and obey him in his strength. Thank him for the life of love he has called us into and enables us to live by grace, through faith.
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