“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”
— Psalm 119:97
What is your relationship to God’s law? Are you passing acquaintances who wave “hello” from across a great distance but never interact? Or are you in such intimate communion that you hide the Law in your heart, thinking of it constantly?
If you feel a bit distant from God’s law, perhaps understanding its origin and purpose will give you the desire to know it better. In the Old Testament, God gave humankind three types of laws: civil laws, ceremonial laws, and moral laws. The civil laws helped people interact as a country. God laid down the civil laws because He Himself was King of Israel; no one else had authority to create such laws. If someone broke a civil law, that person would receive a punishment such as bodily harm or even death. These laws disappeared in A.D. 70 when Israel was no longer a theocracy.
The ceremonial laws dictated which days to commemorate as a nation—the Passover and the Day of Atonement, for example. These laws also carefully delineated how to celebrate each holy day. The ceremonial laws foreshadowed Christ’s coming; since He has come, we no longer observe them.
The third type, moral laws, reflect the eternal, holy, and unchangeable nature of God. All the moral laws are summed up in the Ten Commandments. God’s moral laws have never passed away and will never pass away. We must obey them always. We need the moral laws because they draw people to Christ. They restrain wicked people. They smash our pride and drive us to our knees. They guide us in the way we should live.
In considering the moral laws, people make two basic errors. Some people believe they can save themselves by keeping theLaws. Others believe just the opposite—that if they are saved, they don’t have to keep the moral laws. But God wants to create a perfect kingdom of righteousness where, in joyful and willing obedience, men and women yield themselves gladly to God’s eternal law because of their love for and gratitude to their Savior and Lord.
Today ask God to show you how to delight in His law. Invite Him to make His law a constant companion for your soul.