Thankful: God is the lawgiver

When He finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.

– Exodus 31:18

Today I am thankful that God is the lawgiver.

When God set apart and called out the Israelites as His own special possession, it was God who established their laws. God redefined their way of life and methods of worship. He became their center, and their success, survival and satisfaction radiated out from God’s presence.

God led the people to Mount Sinai, where He literally spoke His commands for all to hear. Exodus 20:18 records, “All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance.” God’s awesome power was overwhelming to the people, and so Moses went alone up the mountain, where God personally met with him and gave His law.

God is our ultimate authority. He IS truth, and is the only One worthy to establish justice and order. Man’s rules will always have weaknesses because we are imperfect. God is holy and without blemish. His standards highlight our need for Him.

I may not always like God’s rules. I may not understand His commands. I might struggle with how to live out His instructions in a culture that has drifted so far from God’s standard. But, I am not God! I did not create the universe. I did not send my Son to redeem mankind. I do not determine eternity. My agreement with God’s laws has nothing to do with it. HE is God. He sets the rules. I am to obey.

My life is not determined by those around me. My life is found in Jesus Christ. He is both the lawgiver and the fulfillment of the law. I will choose to trust and follow Him.

Because I said so

Scripture crumbs from Leviticus 11:44-46

For I am Yahweh your God, so you must consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy. You must not defile yourselves by any swarming creature that crawls on the ground. For I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy.

This is the law concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in the water, and all creatures that swarm on the ground

It is my tendency to push back at rules – to question and test and determine the necessity of the rules. Our human mindset is drawn to and naturally embraces the thought that rules are made to be broken.

So what of God’s law? In Leviticus, God outlines numerous, very specific laws concerning worship in His tabernacle, as well as the lifestyle and even the food His people are to eat. The two-year-old in me wants to ask, “Why? Why? Why?” out of curiosity and wanting to simply understand. The 14-year-old in me also struggles with “Why?” with a touch of attitude, wondering what is the point of all the rules. The 32-year-old parent in me knows there is usually a reason for every rule, and as a parent I expect my child to obey.

God addresses the why questions with an emphatic response: “For I am the Lord your God, so you must…” I am your God. I redeemed you. You must be holy because I am. This is the law.

Or, in other words, because I said so.

When God gives instruction, He reminds us that He is worthy of our complete trust and devotion. He is the One who personally came to deliver us from the slavery of sin and purchased our freedom.

God, give me your strength to do what you say. You are my God and my Redeemer. Help me to trust you and obey, simply because You say so.