The Rule of Law: First Things (22)
Click here to watch a brief video introducing this week’s study. This week’s video is the same as for lesson 2.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Exodus 20.2
We have said that the rule of Law God intends for His people must begin in our souls – heart, mind, and conscience – and that primary among these is the government of the heart, our desires and affections. The human heart is deceitful and easily distracted from truth. As Solomon says, we must watch over our hearts with all diligence (Prov. 4.23). The place to begin in disciplining our hearts is by setting the Law of God there.
But the government of the heart cannot be achieved apart from the government of the mind. God intends that His Law should shape not only what we desire but what and how we think. The Law of God is crucial to the proper government of the mind, just as it is to the heart.
And this is rooted in understanding Who God is, and in knowing Him. The Law thus begins with God’s declaration of His Name (LORD), His status (your God), and His gracious covenant faithfulness (brought you out). The people of God must know the God Who stands back of His Law. And they must accept that, as God, LORD, and Redeemer, He knows what is best for His people, and He has every right to expect that they should obey Him.
The Law of God further explains that God is Creator of all things in heaven and earth and sovereign over all peoples, nations, events, and powers. We learn from the Law that this God is holy and righteous and good; that He is just and true; and that He is jealous for His honor and His righteousness. He is the only God and is thus alone worthy of our worship and devotion. He is capable of great compassion and of great wrath. He will never fail nor forsake those who continue to look to Him in faith.
We should expect our reading and study of God’s Law – including the religious and sacrificial laws – to give us an increasingly large and clear picture of God, and ultimately to point us to Jesus Christ, God incarnate, Who came to fulfill all the righteous requirements of God’s Law and to bear all its wrath for our deliverance (Heb. 7-10).
We are learning the Law aright when it fills our understanding with the knowledge of God, and when our minds, thus filled, teach our hearts to fear and love this God above all else.
Next steps – Preparation: As you pray through the Ten Commandments today, pause over each one, and listen for the moving of God’s Spirit as He illuminates the condition or your heart with respect to each of the Commandments. Repent where necessary, and seek the counsel of the Lord for overcoming evil with good in your heart (Rom. 12.21).T. M. Moore
The Law of God is the soil which, fertilized by the rest of God’s Word and watered by His Spirit, brings forth the fruit of the Christian life. If you’d like to understand this process better, and how to make best use of the Law in your walk with and work for the Lord, order the book, The Ground for Christian Ethics, from our online store.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.