I remember several years ago enjoying a program aimed at children that was actually interesting for all ages. I wish I could remember what it was or who the host was, but alas, I cannot. Still, a couple of things have stuck with me all these years. One was an explantion with illustrations of how a piston engine works, and the other was the statement (made in an extremely authoritative manner) “Gravity. It’s the law!” It made me laugh. It still makes me laugh. But laws in physics are not quite the same as laws that govern the actions of people. You can’t really choose to break the law of gravity, but you can choose to break the laws that govern the actions of people.
God gave us free will when we were created. Free will is simply the ability to act at one’s own discretion. We can and do make choices. Some of those choices are good, others, not so much.
But when people make their choices based on what they think is right for them without taking into account what is right for other people as well, we start to run into problems. We find we can’t get along. It becomes hard to live in close proximity. Most people, though not all, enjoy having the benefits of civilization and community, but many find it hard to obey laws they find too personally limiting.
We have a lot of laws and they are constantly changing because we amend our laws, add new laws, and repeal laws which are no longer beneficial. Yet God’s law remains. We interpret God’s laws and understand them in the context of their time and situation, but the law as a whole remains.
Not long after God first gave the law to Moses, the Hebrews began to question God’s law. Some used their free will to choose to follow the laws of other lands and other gods. In Deuteronomy 4:7-8 Moses said to them, “For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?”
Moses was reminding the Hebrews that the God that gave them the law by which they should live was the same God they had known for generations. This is the same God who brought them out of the land of Egypt and freed them. This was the God who was leading them to a new home where they would truly become a nation.
This is the same God we love, worship, and serve today. This is the God who gives us laws that teach us how to love – how to love God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and how to love our neighbors as ourselves. This is the God of love.
Love. It’s the law!