Posted by: arieliondotcom | February 25, 2013

The Strength of the Law

Surprise! Our Scripture today is about the Law. Well if you’ve been following Scripture sequentially you know that’s not a surprise at all. That’s all we’ve been reading for a while. But the laws in our passage today were a surprise…even downright shocking…to Israel and the other countries of that day.

First of all, GOD tells his people to get their house in order and not even go to battle if their heart isn’t in it because they might die in battle. Wait a minute! Wasn’t the whole purpose of having a god to be protected in battle? GOD is teaching a bigger lesson here. How would you fight if you knew you could not lose? Why bother to fight at all?

Christians today face this same question. JESUS tells us in the Gospels that the Father knows what we need even before we pray. So why bother praying? Because we do not pray for GOD to hear but for our hearts to listen.

Praying (and going into battle despite the risk of death) builds our souls and strengthens our character to fight for what’s right rather than our own desires. Leaning on the Law of Character rather than dealmaking with idols teaches GOD’s people to grow strong regardless of danger or circumstances.

Other laws were just as shocking. The Law demanded that everyone, man, woman and child, captive or countryman, be treated with respect.
Again, unheard of. Everyone knew that half the fun of being strong was to take advantage of the weak. But the Law of the LORD taught otherwise. It even taught to be compassionate to trees and animals and to think of future generations, not just their immediate needs. By leaning on the Law of Compassion, GOD’s people grow in strength and away from the weak selfishness of the world.

Finally, some laws were shocking because they made no sense. What difference did it make to mix types of grain or cloth? Practically it might have been an issue of strength and integrity. But ultimately it was about Love. They were to do it just because it pleased GOD for them to do it.

If you ever bought cherry ice cream, though you prefer chocolate, because the person you love prefers cherry and you can’t afford both, you understand the law of seeking to please a loved one. This also teaches obedience. Those who obeyed in the small things that didn’t seem to matter could be counted on in more serious situations because leaning on the Law of Love helped them to grow strong in seeking the good of others for Love’s sake rather than sinking into the muck of self-satisfaction.

The Law is like a stick tied to a plant to help it grow straight & strong when otherwise it would fall & have rotten fruit Deuteronomy 20-22

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Photo source:http://www.mcconnell.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/web/100421-F-7941S-022.jpg

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