Monday, January 16
If you live in the United States, you are subject to millions of laws. There are so many laws at the federal level, that it would take lifetimes to count them all. There are possibly 20,000 regulations placed upon gun ownership. The Internal Revenue Code is over 7,500 pages long. There are over 300,000 expressions of criminal offenses you could possibly commit. All of these numbers do not include the laws you must abide by at the state or local levels. I do not tell you all of this to make you rummage through law books before every action, so you will fearfully stay at home (there might be a law against that, too), or even as some kind of backhanded political statement, but to make the simple point — even when you want to follow the law, it can be hard when there are so many.
“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart — they do no wrong but follow his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.” – Psalm 119:1-4
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.” – Psalm 119:8
Psalm 119 is a reflection on the following: the laws, statutes, precepts, and words given by God to men through an acrostic. What is an acrostic? You have most likely done something similar with your name at some point in your school career:
The first letter of each word spell out the theme of discussion. By using the Hebrew Alphabet to begin each stanza, David, our author, literally covers everything from “A” to “Z” (or “Aleph” to “Taw”) to thoroughly tell about the favor or folly that comes from obeying / disobey God’s commandments. The ABC’s of living a life for God is closely clinging to His commands – all 600+ of them given in the Torah that make up the Levitical Law? For David, yes. Thankfully, Jesus Christ simplified the commandments to two guiding principles that encompass them all:
“‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40
Does reducing these many laws to two make it easier to live within the law? Absolutely not. There are no longer loopholes, gaps, or technicalities to exploit which are the reasons for chastisement of religious leaders in the time of Jesus and the ever-increasing amount of laws today. These two laws encompass every part of our lives. A-to-Z. From Actions with our enemies to the Zeal which we have for His kingdom, these laws apply. When we commit to following His law, we have blessing, direction, fulfillment, and hope. Is it an easier life? No. Is it a better life? Absolutely, yes.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations.” – Psalm 119:105-106