What truth about God does the presence of God’s law in the covenant relationship teach us about His essential nature? Malachi 3:6, James 1:17.
God’s law is an oral or written expression of His will (compare Psalm 40:8). Because it is a transcript of His character, its presence in the covenant assures us of the permanence and dependability of God. Although we always may not be able to discern the outworkings of His providence, we know He is trustworthy. His universe is under unvarying moral and physical laws. It is this fact that gives us true freedom and security.
The “assurance that God is reliable and dependable lies in the truth that He is a God of law. His will and His law are one. God says that right is right because it describes the best possible relationships. Therefore God’s law is never arbitrary or subject to whim and fancy. It is the most stable thing in the universe.” — Walter R. Beach, Dimensions in Salvation (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1963), p. 143.
If God’s law cannot save a person from sin, why did He make it a part of the covenant? (Hint: see Amos 3:3.)
A relationship requires agreement and harmony. Because God is not only the Creator of the world but also its moral Governor, law is essential for the happiness of His created, intelligent beings to live in harmony with Him. His law, the expression of His will, is thus the constitution of His government. It is naturally the norm or obligation of the covenant arrangement and relationship. Its purpose is not to save, but to define our duty to God (commandments 1-4) and our duty to our fellow humans (commandments 5-10). In other words, it sets forth the manner of life that God designs for His covenant children to live, for their own happiness and well-being. It prevented Israel from substituting some other philosophy as a way of life. It was and is the purpose of the covenant relationship to bring the believer through God’s transforming grace into harmony with His will and character.
|Look around. Can you not see the devastating effects of lawlessness? Even in your own life, can you not see some damage done by breaking God’s law? In what ways do these realities help to affirm the goodness of God’s law and why law should be a crucial part of our relationship with Him?|