The apostle Paul is the apostle of grace. He tends to always be warning about the law and how the law cannot save you. His point is that we cannot in our arrogance save ourselves by our efforts or become worthy through our following the rules. Such obedience will never be enough to cancel out the sin in our lives.
In spite of that he understood that the law had a place. In one verse he said,
(1Ti 1:8 KJV) But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;I personally think that the law gets a bad rap. It was a vital step in God’s plan for the salvation of mankind.
It occurred to me that God’s law is really given for our benefit, not God’s. We tend to look at the breaking of the law and how that is sin and sin must be punished. Think with me from the other end. A life built on keeping the law is a big step toward a life of success and peace. A society built on the law is what the cultures of the West adopted and it gave us historic prosperity. Where would we be if there was no problem with murder, theft or promiscuity. The Ten Commandments as a unit are an awesome force for the good of everyone.
Think of the times that Israel went through great suffering. What were they constantly being judged for? Why were they eventually hauled off into captivity? Not for plowing with a mixed team. They were condemned for violating the first Commandment. Putting God first and honoring Him are the foundations for a good life now as well as eternity.
Just as many of the sins that plague us are the misuse of blessings God has bestowed, so the law was a tool to help us stay on the high road.
My speculation goes even further. There are a number of laws that make me scratch my head. Some give me the itch because I don’t see how they could ever apply to me. I don’t see myself ever planting a tree in the courtyard of the temple. On another note, I wonder if the instruction not to boil a calf in its mother’s milk will someday be found to have some solid health reasons, maybe an issue of common DNA.
Meanwhile I will continue to assume that God knew what He was doing and has a better understanding than I ever will.
homo unius libri
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