May 15
‘But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, (…) they will be blessed in what they do.’ James 1:25
Bible reading: Deuteronomy 30:11-20 (1) (Go to the Bible passage)
Deuteronomy is the last of the five books of Moses. Five books filled with the messianic history of Israel, five books full of laws and regulations…
But Moses did not end with a sigh, but with a joyous word. ‘Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. (…) No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it’ (:11,14).
God had severely tested His people, and the Israelites had come to see His majesty. At this moment, when they were about to enter the Promised Land, they had learned to trust their God. And whoever puts his trust in God, longs to do His will and experiences the joy of the law.
But when we are alienated from God and go our own ways, God’s laws become a burden for us and we stumble over them. We get tired of them and reject everything that God says.
That is why so many Christians think the ‘old laws’ no longer apply. They abuse the liberty granted by mercy by becoming stubborn. Therefore, there is so little power and so little genuine love. For Jesus says, ‘And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold’ (Matthew 24:12 NRSV). Paul, the great preacher of grace, glorified the law. ‘So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good’ (Romans 7:12).
But the law of God - which should have granted life - has made slaves. For the law without the Lawgiver is dead. But whoever obeys Gods’ will out of love for Him, experiences the joyful freedom of the law, and that leads to genuine liberation!
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