Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.Psalm 119:24 (NLT)
“Laws are made to be broken, man!” I’ve heard that phrase spoken out loud before. Several times in fact. The idea is that laws are only there to keep us from having fun. The only reason they exist is because some person, or people, decided that they didn’t want anyone enjoying life. So, they made up a bunch of laws to keep the human population from doing so.
While I may not agree that laws are made to be broken, I do have to admit that some laws leave me scratching my head. For example, in this great state of Oregon, it is illegal to go hunting in a cemetery. Or in South Dakota, it is illegal to sleep in a cheese factory. In Wyoming, you can’t take a picture of a rabbit between the months of January and April without first obtaining a permit from the state. In North Dakota, it is illegal to fall asleep with your shoes on. And, finally, in New Jersey, it is illegal for a man to knit during fishing season. Yup, these are all laws still on the books in this great land of ours. I’m pretty sure all of these get broken on a regular basis – well, maybe not the New Jersey one.
With the exception of silly, outdated laws, rules and regulations are actually put in place to protect people, animals, or property. They are intended for good, not for bad. Speed limits are to keep people from driving out of control. Stop lights are to make sure that intersections don’t become a free-for-all where the winner is the only car still running. Laws against violence are there to protect the innocent. While we may not like the laws, they are there for a purpose.
When it comes to the commands of God, the law exists for a very simple reason: It shows us how to strengthen our relationship with God and with others. We must note, too, that there are no head scratcher laws when it comes from God. All of His laws are perfect, holy, right. In other words, His laws help us understand how to live a life full of blessing, love, and wisdom. As the Psalmist put it in our verse today, “Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.” The law is God’s wisdom revealed to us. He is helping us understand, from His perfect wisdom, how to keep us safe, how to love, how to respect, how to honor, and how to live a life worthy of the Kingdom of God. His laws give us peace, hope, and joy. His laws aren’t made to be broken. His laws are made to be embraced.
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