“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.” Deuteronomy 6.1-3
In this series of In the Gates we are focusing on The Rule of Law. God intends that His Law should serve as the governing framework for every aspect of life for His people. We’re trying to discern God’s plan for how we as His people should submit to the Law of God and what we might expect as we do so.
We began by observing that the Law of God, which is the law of love, speaks to the souls of His people and calls them to obey Him heart, mind, and conscience as the prerequisite for being able to obey Him with all their strength. Unless the Law of God rules our souls, teaching us to fear and love Him as our highest priority, He will not rule our daily practices in all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities.
From there we began to consider how the Law of God comes to expression in our relationships with others. Since we do not dwell alone, it is reasonable to expect that the first manifestations of inward obedience to God’s holy and righteous and good Law will be in the ways we love our neighbors as ourselves.
In this section, then, we turn now to consider the various social arenas within which we engage and conduct our relationships with others, beginning with the home.
What might we expect in a home where the Law of God rules according to the plan and pleasure of God?
First, we would expect that home to be in some sense a reflection of God Himself, and, thus, to provide a context in which the steadfast love and faithfulness of God would be continuously on display. As God sustains His people by steadfast love, caring for and upholding them at all times in every aspect of their lives; and as He is always faithful to Himself and His Word, so that He never fails in any of His promises, so in a home ruled by the Law of God we should expect a sense of the presence of God to be the defining feature. His steadfast love and faithfulness would be evident in every form and facet of such a home, so that, in all its various manifestations, both human and cultural, the presence of God would shine in steadfast love and faithfulness for all to know and see.
Whether homes and families today, including those within the Body of Christ, reflect this glorious presence is a question seriously to be considered. Even among the households of the Church, the forms of pop culture, the demands of work, and the diversions of a sensual and materialistic age seem to shape the mood and agenda of families more than an awesome sense of the goodness, holiness, and wonder of God.
When God’s people neglect His Law they have little to aid them in resisting the steady breezes and winds of the spirit of the age (Eph.4.14). Only by turning back to the Law of God – and to all His Word as exposition and development of that Law in Jesus Christ – will a sense of the divine presence be established in Christian homes, and steadfast love and faithfulness be the defining features throughout.
For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the life of faith, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.