Genesis 2:16-17"And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."
Dear God we pray for you to bless your WORD, for the good of your people, and for the glory of your Son(Jesus). In the magnificently matchless name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ! Have you every stopped and pondered why we have so many laws and rules in our world? There may be many academic reasons but from the Biblical perspective the answer is easy to see. Simply put, as a race of people(the human race), the more we distance ourselves from God's law, the more restrictions and rules we have to impose upon ourselves to deal with the consequences.
The journey starts in the beginning when God created Adam and Eve. Initially there was only one rule. Yes, brothers and sisters, there was only one rule or law in whole world in the very beginning. In the beginning there were no need for the ten commandments to regulate behavior, there were no littering laws, there were no housing zoning codes regulating where you can build. There were no need for air pollution laws, and no need for tax laws(no taxes to pay or tithes). There was only one command in the beginning. Adam and Eve had absolute freedom to do whatever they wanted, the only thing forbidden was to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:16-17 records this as it reads, "And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." Unfortunately they ate from the tree and because of their disobedience, sin entered into the world. Their eyes were now open to sin and therefore they would be responsible for sin. Adam and Eve would pass this on to everyone else coming into the world. Paul illustrates this in Romans 5:12 as he says, "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned-"
As a result of sin, we went from having a simple life with only one law to the need for ten laws coming from God. Sin was in the world and man needed more guidelines for controlling their behavior and conduct. In Exodus chapter 20 God gives Moses the ten commandments to give to the people. The ten commandments are:You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make idols. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. and You shall not covet. Even with the ten commandments, mankind still rebelled against God. Adultery was common in all societies, stealing and lying were frequent, and God's name was used in vain all too often. Mankind rejected God's guidelines for appropriate human behavior and many court systems which once used the 10 commandments as a guideline for appropriate conduct removed it from their chambers.
As a result of society once again rejecting God's law the result once again is more laws to deal with the consequences of sin. Society has since continued to spiral into chaos and confusion. In the Jewish community there are over 600 laws that they have documented to regulate human behavior and detail appropriate worship. In our federal government today according to S. Representative Rob Portman of Ohio, "The income tax code and its associated regulations contain almost 5.6 million words -- seven times as many words as the Bible. Taxpayers now spend about 5.4 billion hours a year trying to comply with 2,500 pages of tax laws." Matt Vespa speaking in regards to the Justice department states, "There are at least 5,000 federal criminal laws, with 10,000-300,000 regulations that can be enforced criminally. In fact, our entire criminal code has become a leviathan unto itself. In 2003, there were only 4,000 offences that carried criminal penalties. By 2013, that number had grown by 21 percent to 4,850. The code has become so big, that the Congressional Research Service and the American Bar Association simply do not have enough staff to adequately categorize every law we have on the books."
The number of laws and regulations that we have simply illustrates the picture that the more man removes God's simple laws, the more regulations we will have to impose upon ourselves to make sense of the chaos that follows. For example: in the ten commandments God says don't lie, but many try to lie on our taxes in attempts to steal money, as a result; government comes up with many laws and regulations to deal with the issue of lying(fyi: not all of the tax laws are because of fraud but many are). In the beginning it started simply with one law(do not eat from the tree), then 10 (10 commandments) because of disobedience, now they have been replaced with the need for thousands of laws by government. This perhaps is no where better illustrated than in the fact that we are to the point where we are writing laws to regulate appropriate bathroom usage. The need for such laws only come because we have ignored what God has said about making us simply man and woman. As stated in Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created he them." Let's really stop and think about it, what type of world are we living in when we need bathroom laws? Seriously? Apparently in our world of sin it seems we do.
Fortunately God in his mercy and Grace has allows us a chance to return to simplicity in a midst of our burdened regulations. When Jesus came He invited all people to reduce the clutter to only 2 laws or rules. Jesus told them that all we should focus on is first loving God, and secondly loving each other as ourselves. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Jesus came to un-clutter our lives and return us back to the simplicity of life that comes with following Jesus. Following Christ is not easy because we live in a sin stained world, but following Christ is the simplest way. When we disobey God's simple laws, the consequences will always be the need for more and more laws to deal with the chaos. They will be laws which were not needed if we had been able to simply obey God's law in the first place. Excessive laws are a burden, they steal your joy, and kill your liberty. Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes only that he might steal and might kill and might destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly." Let us have an abundant life by simply guiding ourselves by God's simple laws (Love God with your all your mind, heart, soul and strength & Love others as yourself), and we will be amazed by the freedom that comes by simply living God's way.
Prayer: Dear God please allow me to heed your WORDs that you prayed in Matthew 11:28-30 when you said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Allow me to find rest in you and know that your way though it may be narrow, is simpler. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Your brother in Christ
P.S. God's law leads to life, love and liberty(freedom), but sin leads to decrees(laws), depravity(wickedness), and death. Choose life.