The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. Psalm 19:7-9
Inspired by the verses above, Reverend August Ley wrote a hymn verse which reads, "The Law of God is good and wise, and sets His will before our eyes, shows us the way of righteousness, and dooms to death when we transgress."
Now God's laws certainly are all that and more, but that doesn't mean God's laws are appreciated or applauded by humankind. They're not.
Indeed, I can't think of a single one of God's laws which haven't been attacked, assaulted or assailed. The world always seems to think it knows better than the Lord and, given the chance, they could do better when it comes to setting up laws, which would be fair and equitable.
Maybe, but the last century of Greek history would seem to say, "Hogwash!"
Let me explain. More than a century ago, when a new government came to power in Greece, they would fire all the public employees and give those positions to friends, family and past supporters. This constant turnover in government service personnel made for an incredible inefficiency.
That's when the lawmakers got involved. They passed legislation which made it almost impossible to fire someone who was employed by the government. It may have been a great idea on paper. In reality, those human lawmakers hadn't helped anyone.
You see, after those new laws were enacted, newly elected governments did stop firing and hiring. Instead, they left the old employees in office and hired a whole new bunch of civil servants. And the next government did the same, as did the next, and the next, and the next.
In short, the new laws made things worse than they were before.
In contrast to the inefficiencies of humankind, God's laws are good and wise. They are simple, straightforward, and equally applicable to all of us. The human tragedy is this: because of our sin, as the hymn writer said, they "doom to death when we transgress."
Thankfully, the laws of the Lord were not His final gift to humanity.
Seeing His laws had condemned us, the Lord also gave us His Son to be our Savior. In the perfect life of Jesus, the demands of God's Law were fulfilled; our sins were paid for, and death was defeated. Now, because of what Jesus has done, all who believe are forgiven and granted a new lease on life.
And there is one other bonus to what Jesus has done.
Rather than living in fear of God and His commandments, we are able to appreciate them for the guidance they give. Yes, we can give thanks and we can sing: "The laws of God are good and wise, and sets His will before our eyes."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess the many times I have broken Your laws. But I also give thanks the Savior has fulfilled those laws for me and through His life, death and resurrection has saved me. Today I ask Your laws give me guidance I need to lead a life of praise and witness to Him. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries