GOD AND THE LAW
Friday, November 10, 2017
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“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practise what they preach.” Matthew 23:2-3

On Mount Sinai, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses out of a deep and committed relationship with him. Exodus 33:11 says, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” God’s law passed on to the people was significant of a new covenant relationship God established with the Israelites. Each had their end to uphold. God would be with His people and do wonders for them, and the people were to live in compliance to His Law.

Fifteen hundred years later, Jesus came on the scene and saw that the law of God was being observed faithfully and meticulously by Jewish leaders. They strictly adhered to not only the moral law, but the ceremonial and judicial laws God had given to govern the life of Israel. In their efforts to please God, Jewish hierarchy set new rules, expanding the Law of Moses to include over 600 laws – laws within the laws. For example, the fourth commandment states they were not to work on the Sabbath, so dozens of new laws were introduced that constituted work and restricted the people from carrying it out on the Sabbath.

Jesus also saw a pattern of rigid, legalistic attitudes in the religious leaders’ implementation of the laws. While they may have been sincere in their zeal for the Law, they were missing out on the personal relationship God intended to have with His people. God’s purpose for giving the law was not only to reveal His character and expose to the people their need for Him, but to establish a covenant relationship where His people would love, trust and depend on Him. Just as God spoke to Moses as one talked to a friend, God wanted a lifelong, intimate fellowship with His people in which His active presence would govern their lives.

Jesus cautions us against being like the religious leaders of His day. In our efforts to adhere to the commands of God, we can get so locked into them that we end up making our own rules; how to dress, how much to give, what music to listen to, who to associate with, etc. and we begin to judge others by these rules. Though we believe the Law to be right and true, it is entirely possible that like the Pharisees, we lose touch with the living, active relationship we are meant to enjoy with God. The Bible is God’s story, given to us by God Himself, which makes getting to know our Bibles vital if we are going to know God. And knowing God the way He wants us to – through personal experience of Him can only be done in relationship with Him.

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to know You more deeply, and ask that your Law be a constant reminder of a relationship of love, trust and dependency we are to enjoy with You. Thank You, Lord.


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