Good for All
The Law of God: Questions and Answers
How shall we understand and apply God’s Law today?
Imagine a society in which oppression and robbery were not forbidden.
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasures in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. James 5:1-4
In the early days of the American experiment, as the country expanded westward, law and order were not as common as one might have hoped. The “wild west” attitude frequently meant that rights and justice were dispensed out of the barrel of a gun. Thus, it was necessary for communities to hire marshals, sheriffs, judges, and the like, to establish and maintain order so that human beings could flourish.
“Anarchy” describes a condition in which “no law” exists—that is, no law beyond what any individual or group of individuals might be able to enforce at any given time. No fixed law governing all parties obtains where anarchy is the rule, and therefore, no one is safe, and contracts between individuals may or may not mean anything at all. My railing might never get built, or my builder might never get paid.
We cannot imagine a society in which everyone is free to make up and enforce whatever laws appear to be in his best interests. We do not believe that every man should be allowed to do what seems right in his own eyes, the pontifications of relativists, utilitarians, and postmodernists (even the Supreme Court!) to the contrary notwithstanding. Even those who most loudly insist that we ought all to be “free” to do whatever we want expect to be treated with the fairness and honesty God’s Law commends when they stand in line for their pay check or head out on the highway in their car.
The Law of God is holy and righteous and good (Rom. 7:12). For everyone. But if the benefits of that Law are to be roundly enjoyed and spread throughout our society, then the members of the household of faith must make it their business to model the love for God and neighbor that the Law of God prescribes. When people see us living this way in their midst, they will want to learn more of it, and to live by it themselves (Mic. 4:1-5).
Which makes the business of reading, studying, and rightly interpreting the Law extremely important.
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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T. M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).
Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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