Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How Does Biblical Law Benefit Me?

Up to this point, we've discussed whether or not the Law of the Old Testament is valid today and what it is. Today I'd like to discuss how obeying the law benefits someone who's saved by grace.

I've been considering my parenting skills (or lack thereof, depending on the area we're discussing) over the past couple of months. I've recognized areas where I'm too strong and areas where I'm too lax. I've considered my responses to my children and their behaviors. I've watched. I've listened. I've taken notes.

Like me, God is a parent. He is the Father of all of mankind. He is, after all, our Creator. One thing I've always known is that no matter what wrong I've done as a child of God, I am loved and I am forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Like God, I love my children unconditionally. They will make mistakes just as I make mistakes. They will have good days and bad days just like I have good days and bad days. I will want to duct tape them to a chair (and use it on their mouths) some days, but I will resist doing so out of love. Just as God probably wants to strike me with lightning some days and doesn't out of His love for me.

As I considered this post, I thought of God's commandment to children. It's the only one that comes with a promise. Here's what it says:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long in the earth" (Ephesians 6:1-3).

When we obey God's law, we are honoring our Father in heaven. Think about the rules and boundaries you set for your own children (or, if you don't have children, consider how your parents set up boundaries and rules for you). Why do you give them these rules? To protect them. To keep them safe from harm's way.

I'll never forget the day I took the kids to the local laundromat. I had Zachary (my step-son) who was eight at the time (maybe nine). I had Ezra strapped into his infant car seat. I pulled up alongside the laundromat to unload the five baskets of dirty clothes. I gave specific instructions to Zach. "Stay in your seat with your seatbelt on. DO NOT get out of the car." Easy enough, right?

I knew that the parking lot could be busy. I knew it would only take me two minutes to unload the clothes and park the van. Then we'd all go inside. Only Zach didn't listen. Instead, he thought he'd go over to the guardrail by the river and toss rocks into it. Which would have been fine with supervision. What Zach didn't realize is that at any moment a half-drunk redneck in a beat-up pick-up truck would come zipping into the parking lot and decide to choose the space...where Zach stood. The look on my step-son's face said it all. He was terrified. Thankfully, the truck stopped before hitting him. So did my heart.

"Honor your Father, that it may be well with you and you may live long in the earth." (Paraphrase mine.)

When we honor God and His law, we have an opportunity to live long on the earth. When we are obedient to His commandments, His boundaries, His rules, we find things going very well in life. I can't tell you how many times I've seen blessings flow from heaven as my husband and I have honored God and His people here on earth as we've walked our lives out with Him. Why anyone wouldn't want to honor God's law and His commands is beyond me.

What about you? Can you recall an incident where God's Law applied and someone was either blessed or cursed for obeying or disobeying that command? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Photo Courtesy of dazmac

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