It was the Bobby Fuller Four who sang, “I Fought the Law,” adding “and the law won.” It’s a catchy tune, and a good reminder to stay out of prison (as if we needed that). I can’t imagine the “Law” in question here is of the Old Testament variety. Of course, singing something like, “I Fought the Levitical Ceremonial Law and the law won” doesn’t exactly have radio-friendly lyrics, but I digress.
The Law of Moses contains 613 commandments. You read that correctly. We often think of the Ten Commandments only, but this was a culture that was in dire need of strict laws at the time. Remember that the Bible was written for us, but not initially to us. The Mosaic Law was intended for a specific group of people. Similarly, laws today are intended for us.
We know that Jesus Christ came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). So does that change the expectations God has for us in 2016? No! Paul reminds us in Galatians 5 not to get tied up in the law…but also not to let that freedom satisfy our fleshly desires. I see this as the Holy Spirit working in us to guide our moral and ethical decision-making. Like you and I, those living during the time of Moses, David, and the Prophets were instructed by God. His instruction at the time applied to the pagan-worshiping culture of Israel’s neighbors. God’s Law (The Old Covenant) was for them to follow. Ceremonially. Judicially. Morally.
The laws introduced in the first part of the Bible are still relevant. If not, they would not appear in an inspired work. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We learn quite a bit about our Heavenly Father through the laws – every one of them – that He gave to his chosen people. I pray that you take some time to read through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy to get closer to God. No, the Levitical Law will not change your life, but don’t you want to gather as much information about God’s character as possible? I know I do!
Certainly we are blessed to be born after Christ fulfilled the Law. But that does not permit us to live lawless lives. If we truly believe that the love of Christ conquers the Law, let us then live out what He believes to be the most important commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Those are two laws we should strive to obey each and every day.
In His Name,