Deuteronomy 8:1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers.
God’s laws aren’t arbitrary. Actually, they’re very analogous to the rules on a submarine or a space station: disobey them to your own peril and the peril of those around you. This planet has been called “Spaceship Earth” for good reason. The close confines of a submarine or a space station intensify the circumstances we all experience, though we might not be aware of them. The US Navy allowing women on submarines (as well as other military branches allowing them in combat situations) is opening up all sorts of problems that frankly, we don’t handle all that well under normal situations. If everyone on a submarine, for example, were perfectly committed to obeying God’s laws, there would be no problems. That’s the irony of man’s rebelliousness toward any rules whatsoever. You can imagine what that attitude would do on a space station! As Moses says here, God’s rules are so that we can get the best out of our environment, enjoying all that God has provided and intends for us. Physical rules are fairly obvious, but moral rules can be less so. Those who try to deny that there is a Lawgiver remove all basis for moral laws. If we are nothing more than the chance results of impersonal processes, then “nature, red in tooth and claw” would apply just as well to us as to any animal. God’s laws are precisely so that we can rise above that plane to fulfill that for which we were created.
I’ve done my share of rebelling at regulations of all sorts. I have real problems with unnecessary and/or arbitrary human regulations, because they teach people to ignore regulations, and that can quickly spread to ignoring God’s laws. As a pastor I am often in situations of letting people know what God’s laws are, and the challenge is helping them understand that those laws are for their good. I have seen situation where people got into terrible messes for ignoring, or even deliberately violating, those laws, but I have also seen people turn their lives around as they grew to understand how good God’s laws of grace are for them. I need to keep growing in my own familiarity with and application of the Instruction Manual – the Bible – and lead others to do the same.
Father, thank You for giving us the Bible, and not just turning us loose with no direction. Thank You especially for the Holy Spirit, to live in us and give us specific direction. Help me be increasingly sensitive to Your Spirit, neither quenching nor grieving Him but enjoying His fellowship, so that I may walk in all that You intend and lead others to do the same, for our blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!