Mystery writer Dorothy Sayers was a follower of Christ. She observed that there are two kinds of laws: the law of the stop sign and the law of the fire.
The law of the stop sign is upheld by the community and enforced with fines. The fine can be increased if too many people continue not to stop. The stop sign could also be taken down. It’s simply up to the city council. You might run that stop sign with no worries, as long as no one is watching.
The law of the fire is a different matter. It says, “Touch me and you’ll be burned.” All the city councils, all the state legislatures and national congresses and the United Nations itself could respond to the dangers of fire by gathering to pass a new law that fire will no longer burn. Every person in the world could vote on this law. And the first man or woman to put a hand in the fire afterward will still get burned.
God’s moral laws are like the law of the fire. It doesn’t matter whether you voted for it or not. It doesn’t matter who’s watching. You won’t break God’s laws; you’ll break yourself upon them. Nor is the penalty negotiable, because it’s bound up in the law itself.
As a bumper sticker put it more concisely, “Gravity is not just a good idea; it’s the law.”
God’s commandments are not arbitrary or flexible. They are woven within the very fabric of creation so that they will endure forever. God is not saying, “Here is a list of rules. If I catch you violating any of them, I’ll have to punish you.” Instead, He is saying, “Let me tell you how my world works, because I designed it myself. I made it to be beautiful, and to give you joy, to give you fellowship with people. But there are hazards you must avoid. If you ignore my design for your life, you will have brought punishment upon yourself.”
Our Lord is not like an arbitrary, capricious God who delights in catching us doing something wrong. Instead, He has given us instructions on how life in His creation works. In fact, He wants us to know how life works so we can be eminently successful at it. It’s as if He has given us the answers to the test to ensure that we pass with flying colors. That’s how the law of God reveals the love of God. It shows to all who will trust in him that He wants only what is best for us.
Watch Dr. David Jeremiah this Thursday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from God Loves You: He Always Has – He Always Will by Dr. David Jeremiah. Copyright @2012 by Dr. David Jeremiah. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords/Hachette Book Group. All rights reserved.