O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai, come to rescue us with your mighty power!
God is our Law-Giver.
God does not give humanity rules/laws to be a tyrant or dictator. Rather, the laws and rules are a result of who it is God created us to be.
There are laws of nature that exist in our material world such as gravity that all material creation is subject to. But for humanity there are additional laws.
There is the natural law which is the law that God put into our hearts, whether or not a person believes in God these laws are there because we are human. These include the desire to do good and avoid evil. Many of the Ten Commandments are an explicit expression of the natural law, such as one should not kill an innocent person, one should not steal objects that belong to another and one should not desire intimacy with another person’s spouse. The natural law also includes the desire for infinite happiness and goodness, which can only be fulfilled in God.
The Divine Law is one that has been revealed to us by God. This law reiterates many of the laws found within the natural law but also reveals additional laws. Its purpose is to help lead us to holiness and to God Himself. We see the Divine Law throughout Scriptures, especially in the Ten Commandments and in the Beatitudes. These include but are not limited to loving God above all things, worshipping God alone and keeping the day of worship holy, not committing adultery, not lusting after another person, prohibition of various disordered sexual desires/behaviors, honoring our parents and others in authority and the list goes on.
There is also the Eternal Law which is God governance of all things and includes the above laws.
Why does God give us laws?
The reason for God’s laws for us is because He loves us unconditionally and wants us to be with Him in heaven for eternity. However, because God is not a tyrant, He does not coerce us or force us human beings to do something that we do not will to do. We can freely choose to love God or reject God. If we choose to love God and if we want to be with God forever, God shows us the path to heaven and God’s laws are the boundaries to keep us on track.
Imagine a river. If it does not have any boundaries, what happens? It is no longer a river but rather a devastating flood. Without God’s laws – boundaries – all humanity will tend to fall into sin and go astray from God resulting in eternal misery.
Imagine a playground. Does a fence around the playground cause harm to the children or affect their ability to have fun? No. The fence is there for their own safety. It protects children from going astray, from running out into the street into a busy road and also keeps harmful people out. Like the fence around the playground is for the children’s own good, so too are God’s laws like a fence around our own lives – these laws/rules help keep us on the right path to heaven.
God created us to be with Him forever. God created us good, without sin, in communion with Him and in harmony with God and humanity. However, because of sin, human nature was wounded. As a result, man was left with a tendency to sin, had lost communion with God and was no longer able to experience true harmony with God and others. But because of love, Jesus died for humanity to make sanctifying grace available. This grace enables us to be in communion with God and gives us the power to resist temptation. Sin is a reality but God calls us to turn away from sin and be transformed into the pure, holy and perfect human person that He had created. To achieve this, we need grace but God’s laws also help to show us the way.
God’s laws are not burdens but blessings. They sometimes seem so hard because our wounded nature with its tendency to sin rebels within us against those things that help lead us away from transgressions. But sin blinds us to real truth and goodness. God’s laws restore our pure vision. It is like having been in a movie theater for hours and walking out into the sunlight. It is blinding and painful because we had been in darkness for so long! Jesus is our light in this world of darkness – He does not yet eliminate evil but He shows us the way to God. And this way is not easy but it is necessary. By the grace of God, we must follow the light of Christ – the narrow road to eternal life Christ shows us – so that we can be with God forever in heaven.