To Defend The Law

To be able to defend the law one has to believe in the law. To believe in the law one has to know the law and to know the law one has to study the law which is what we are going to do today.

Let’s look at two definitions of what it means to ‘defend’ in two different dictionaries.

1/ “Speak or write in favour of (an action or person); attempt to justify.”
2/ “To maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism.” 

The law of God was documented eons ago. It has been passed down from generation to generation as the years have passed by. Moses recorded on tables of stone ten of the main precepts of God, but the law does go much deeper. The ten commandments give us precepts to live by, rules that protect us and our fellow man and maintain respect for the God of the universe. Man in their laws have included to a large degree the laws of God, except man does not include respect or love for God. It’s interesting to note that while ‘some’ of God’s laws are ‘ok’ for the law makers of our land, other precepts are not. Which ones are not? The ones pointing to a God of heaven, ones they don’t want to recognise as it interferes with their life of sin. Often only the rules that suit their evil ways make it into their ‘decalogue’.

With the writing of the ten commandments onto stone in the desert the Israelites, and us today, have a guideline to live by, but it didn’t end there. Jesus also gave Moses laws and regulations to govern such a large group of people. So Jesus today has given His laws and regulations to live by. It is what we believe, it is in miniature the rules of heaven. Everything we believe can be found recorded in the Bible. We choose to believe and obey the God of heaven, and as we have chosen to be under His government we believe and follow His laws dictated with His reign.

No government can operate efficiently without guidelines, without rules. The God we serve is a God of love and His laws are for our wellbeing, our safety and our happiness.

There are a lot of different interpretations of ‘the law’. The Bible as we know it has been written, over and over again with each ‘interpreter’ putting his own spin on it. So before we can start defending the law of God we need to first establish in which version of the Bible we are going to place our trust.  I believe in the King James Version. My father before me put his faith in this version of the Bible and I will be following in his footsteps and putting my faith in this version also.  (There is also a excerpt under ‘terms of use’ that explains why I have put my faith in this version of the Bible.)

Let’s start with the basics, the first law that was recorded in stone by God. (Yes we have the scrolls the priests taught from, but the ten commandments were given by God to the Israelites, and for us today, as a foundation, a basis. All other laws can be traced back to the ten commandments.) Firstly though, let’s have a quick look at a question that was asked of Jesus (while He was on earth) by a scribe. Let’s go to:- 

Mark 12:28-30 “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

This is the first and foremost commandment. Without love and respect for our ruler we can have no harmonious government. If people are whispering discontent we cannot have unity. All earthly rulers in the past and present have requisitioned loyalty, obedience, some rulers even demanding it at any cost (for example the fiery furnace trial, or the trials of the Waldensians). The God I serve is a God of love, He never compels the conscience. He never uses force, threatens or bribes. We serve Him because we love Him, His government is one of peace and harmony. He tenderly covers us with His love and embraces us in His ever open arms.

Jesus stated directly after this the second most important commandment:-

Mark 12:31 “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

The love God requires is also to be shared with our fellow man. If we have love and respect for our fellow man peace and harmony will reign supreme, but love for our neighbour is not to shine above our love for God. God is the supreme ruler, He created us, He sent His Son to die in our stead, He loves and protects, He forgives and tenderly watches over us. Love, respect, loyalty and obedience are His prerogative and His prerogative alone.

Having established that love is the foundation for God’s government let’s return our minds to the ten commandments. Jesus indicated the importance by writing them Himself in the tables of stone on Mount Sinai.

1/ Exodus 20:3

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

This commandment speaks for itself. God is ruler and God alone. No-one is to attribute His power, love or blessings to any other object whether animate or inanimate. God cannot bestow anything if the glory, worship and praise are being given to another object/person. How can it be fair and just if one person gave us something and we turned around, ignored the giver and thanked a stranger? No, it cannot be just. We worship God and God alone, no animate or inanimate object can take the place of God.

2/ Exodus 20:4-6

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

This commandment links into the one above. God is enforcing the requisition, the importance of loyalty to Him and to Him alone. No image can take the place of Jesus, even if it is a image of Himself. There is no power in any graven image, they are lifeless, dead and they cannot and will not take the place of a living, loving saviour.

3/ Exodus 20:7

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

Swearing in itself is an abomination to God. Cursing and swearing is a indication that the user is not in control of their faculties. They are being manipulated by the devil or his agents. Swearing is used to cast the deepest contempt upon the directed target and swearing in God’s name indicates they are casting contempt upon Him. Swearing is the vilest form of verbal abuse, it also casts contempt upon the user, degrading them to a level below the animals. Swearing in God’s name not only casts contempt upon God but also indicates that Satan has been chosen as their master. Satan loves to cast contempt and abuse God and he uses man to achieve his desire, by urging people to swear, they can degrade God and cast contempt upon our heavenly saviour.

4/ Exodus 20:8-11

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Jesus, here is offering us rest. Our daily labours are stressful and tiring, Jesus calls us one day a week away from our stressful life to a day of rest. It is also a day to remember Jesus, the life He gave us and the beautiful world He gave us to live in. A day to worship Him, to come closer into His embrace and to remember the blessings He has given us. It is not a big ask to devote one day of the week in remembrance, worship, thankfulness and praise to our God. Jesus gives us so many blessings, and He calls us away from our burdens to be with Him. Remember to put away your earthly distractions or attractions and spend sabbath with God, our creator, our ruler and our King.

5/ Exodus 20:12

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

I believe this commandment can be related in the literal sense to the relation between the child and the parents and then to the parents and our Father in heaven. The family circle was designed never to be broken, unfortunately Satan has moved in and disturbed this sacred relation. For peace and harmony to reign in the family the children need to respect, honour and obey their parents. Children do not have the vast perspective of their parents, they cannot discern good from evil, they need to be guided by their parents. Children need to put their trust in their parents and to honour them, not to be rude or disrespectful. Only by this union can harmony reign in the family circle. Parents, in turn need to put their trust in our heavenly Father, only our heavenly Father can lead us and in turn we lead our children. Our heavenly Father has a much vaster perspective than we do. He can see around all the bends, around all the corners. Honour our father and mother and put our ‘all’ into our heavenly Father’s care.

6/ Exodus 20:13

“Thou shalt not kill.”

Human life is invaluable. God gave life, it is not our prerogative to take it away. Everyone and everything has a right to life, a right to live. To take away that life is to deny them their basic rights. It is a action that cannot be undone, no amount of grievance can undo the wrong, and nothing in this world can bring back life. Murdering has its origins with the devil, he proved himself a killer from the start, and he has continued in his murderous rage for eons. He encourages people to place themselves in a position where they are unable to control their thoughts or actions, often using drugs, alcohol or some other poison, once out of their own control these people are at the mercy of Satan, did I say mercy? because believe me Satan has none. Once entwined in Satan’s trap they are fully in his grasp and he will stop at nothing to push them over the cliff and get them to take everybody they can with them. This is the difference between God and Satan, God gives life and Satan takes it. Two vastly different realms, choose you this day who you will serve, a God of life or the prince of death.

7/ Exodus 20:14

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

I’d like to start with the definition of adultery, according to the dictionary, adultery is “Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse”. 

The marriage relation is sacred. It was first instituted in heaven, when God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit founded the laws surrounding marriage. The sacred bonds of marriage should never be broken. Respect, loyalty, love and trust form the basis of the family. If any of these is broken the marriage will come tumbling down. Faithfulness to your partner is paramount, break this trust and no longer can the unity stay together.

Adultery can come in many forms, but it often starts in the head. Satan may whisper words of discouragement or doubt, then he sends thoughts of temptations. Often if these thoughts are cherished the sinner will unfortunately head straight down to damnation. Jesus warns us of the danger of even harbouring sexual thoughts. Jesus says in Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Beware, friend the wiles of the devil control your mind, don’t allow it to wander. Once on the dreamy path temptation can be very hard to resist, and damnation will follow. Hold up your morals, your values, friend, be faithful and loving to your partner and your partner alone.

8/ Exodus 20:15

“Thou shalt not steal.”

Again I’d like to start with a definition of ‘steal’ from the dictionary. There are a few definitions, let’s look at two. 

1/ “Take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.”

2/ “Dishonestly pass off (another person’s ideas) as one’s own.”

With the law of God ‘to take’ something that isn’t rightfully yours whether by force or stealth is treason, and treason is a crime against any government especially God’s. It also goes against the law of love that God’s government is founded on. It causes pain and anger with the victim and these traits can lead to more violence, which in turn breaks other commandments of God. We need to be very careful, breaking one commandment often starts a train of events which if left unchecked can lead the victim to harm, often to jail or even death. These laws of God were put in place to protect us.

9/ Exodus 20:16 

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

The definition of ‘false’ (according to the dictionary) is:-
“Not according with truth or fact; incorrect.”

The definition of ‘witness’ (still according to the dictionary) is:-
“A person giving sworn testimony to a court of law or the police.”

From a internet search:- “False Testimony means untrue testimony. Testimony will be false if it was untrue when it was given and known to be untrue by the witness or person giving it.”

Lying in any form is a abomination to God. Once again it goes against His law of love. Even lying to try to hide a wrong of the accuser or the accused is a slight on Jesus. Jesus died to save us from sin not in sin and lying to weasel out of a responsibility or cast the blame on someone else is abomination to God.

10/ Exodus 20:17

“Thou shalt not covet…”

Once again the dictionary states “Yearn to possess (something, especially something belonging to another)”.

All evil starts in the heart. Once harboured it breeds discontent, if cherished it boils over and any if not all of God’s commandments are in danger of being broken. If temptation is kept in the heart, the prince of darkness has the power to come in and press the ‘temptation, injustice, imaginary need or want’ home in such a way the victim won’t see it coming and before they know it the damage has been done, often irreparable. 

Friends, when temptation knocks I urge you to close the door, do not harbour for a second any of the tempters suggestions. The devil does NOT have your best interests at heart. He is only out to deceive and to destroy, and friend, if he is knocking at your door, bet your bottom dollar it’s NOT for your benefit.

Jesus loves us dearly, all His rules are to protect us, our happiness is paramount to Him. Peace and harmony can only be maintained if law and order are kept, the two go hand in hand, break one and you’ve broken many. The laws of God are not hard to keep, they place no heavy burden on our backs. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He calls us, offering for us to leave our burdens at the cross, Jesus will take care of all our troubles and perplexities, and yes friend, Jesus will give you rest. 

Let’s finish with a few of Jesus’ precious promises.

Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:29,30 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
John 14:2,3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”