- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about obeying laws?
Is 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is God telling us we will not be able to follow His ways unless we believe the advice He has given us in the Bible? Prov 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Without belief, will we think our way is better than His way? Ps 32:8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Is He willing to guide us to the better way? Does His Word do just that? 2 Tim 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
So, today’s question is; why is God asking us to obey all laws and why does it help us find the best path? 1 Pet 2:13-15, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:” God is not forcing us to obey laws, He is just telling us which choices are the best choices available to us, but does this mean we are responsible for our bad choices? Gal 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Can we move toward God while we are disobeying laws, either His or those of the land we live in? Do our bad choices affect the quality of our lives in this world and will they act as stumbling blocks on the path to God, His righteousness and His kingdom? Would we even need prisons if everyone obeyed all laws? Is this the choice He has given us, Deut 30:15, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;”
Rom 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Does God’s truth shed light on all things? Is darkness not the absence of light? Can we bring darkness into a room to cover up the light (truth)? Or, is covering up the light (truth) the only way to allow darkness into a room? Does the same principle describe good and evil? Can the amount of goodness in any situation be measured by the proximity to God’s light (truth) and evil by its absence? Evil is like a cancer growing in the body of Christ, but has God not offered every one of us His salvation, which ultimately will kill this cancer? He has offered, but do we not have to choose to follow? Have we chosen the light, or are we running from it and into the darkness? 1 Pet 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”
David Cabot’s review of the documentary film “SERVING LIFE” centers on Forest Whitaker’s observation, “It could be me.” Whitaker’s observation that he could have ended up in prison should be a wakeup call for all of us. The line between prison, poverty and us, is a small thin one. Before we get too defensive, we must all remember that chance and circumstances have played huge roles in where we are in this life.
I recently watched Ed Gordon’s 21-minute interview of the late Tupac Shakur from 1994, in which Tupac laments the life of growing up in the projects. He wants us to know those living in the projects hate and fear the criminal element as much as we do. His vision of the problem includes the fact that many people living outside the projects do not see a difference between the criminals and the innocents living in the same space. God tells us we need to treat everyone as if they are innocent, showing them the love He so freely offers to all, for any of us could have been born in the projects.
Until we drop our prejudices, break down the artificial lines we have drawn to separate ourselves and allow God to do the judging, we will not be able to see God for who He really is, a loving Father. None of us are innocent, Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” However, we can stop pretending that we are innocent, humble ourselves enough to actually reason with God and discover the peace that will follow. Jn 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Obeying the laws is part of the process that brings peace into our lives.
Comments, opposing opinions and suggestions for future topics are all welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org.