The Law and Grace. Day thirty-three...
Do you know anyone here in the U.S., other than those in the legal profession, who have their nose in the law most of the time? As an even more remote possibility, do you know anyone who delights in that law?
But, under the old covenant, David delighted in the law of the Lord.
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1–2 NKJV)
And, under the new covenant, Paul delighted in the law of the Lord.
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (Romans 7:22 NKJV)
The law, as it comes from man, is very different than the law as it comes from God.
United States law, from my perspective, is about the other guy. As far as I'm concerned, I don't need all those laws to do what's right. But I need all those laws to make sure the other guy does what's right. That's the way I think. Isn't that the way we all think?
Have you ever known anyone who used U.S. law for a moral compass?
I sure haven't. And I seriously doubt you have either. It is, however, in this context that we try to understand God's law.
In the United States, “we the people” created government (and its corresponding laws) to protect our rights—both collective and individual—to life, liberty, and property.
In Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886), the Supreme Court stated: “Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to law, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts.”
The author and source of man's law, according to the highest court in the nation, is man. And if enough men (and women) want to change the U.S. law, they can. By sheer force of numbers no law can stand against an onslaught of public opinion.
But we don't have a say in God's law.
God did not set forth his laws with our sovereignty in mind. He had other reasons.
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not
is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have
turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who
good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:10–20 NKJV)
As mentioned earlier, I am (by my human nature) convinced that I don't need any external guidance to do what is right. It's the other guy I'm worried about.
But God says that I'm the one who needs the external guidance. I'm the one who needs the correction. He says that if His laws are not written on my heart then I'm the one with the problem.
It is when I turn my attention from keeping the other guy in line, and when I turn my attention toward keeping my own human nature in line that I can begin to experience my true rights.
It is when God's law becomes an internal guidance system rather than an external drag on my freedom that I can begin to experience true freedom.
And it is then that I can, just like David (under the old covenant) and Paul (under the new covenant), begin to delight in God's law.
Have a good day,