Rules. We love them … until we don’t.

I would describe myself as a general “rule follower.” I like to know where to be, when to be there, when the deadline is, and all the expectations … except for when I don’t. You could be the biggest rule follower, but I’m sure there would be at least one rule that you just don’t want to follow or don’t agree with.

I imagine that the Israelites received these rules the same way … there would have been people who would follow them to a T as well as hold others accountable, and others who would see how far they could push them or just ignore them completely.

When it comes to rules, though, they are usually in place for safety and protection … your safety or the safety of others. As a soon-to-be-mother, I am constantly thinking about the rules our household will have. And, as a parent, I know that these rules will be broken and there will be disappointment, but it probably won’t change the way I love my child (or my husband).

When Scripture says, “Today the Lord your God has commanded you to obey all these decrees and regulations. So be careful to obey them wholeheartedly” (Deuteronomy 26:16), it is a reminder that these decrees are in place for the safety and protection of ourselves and others.  Although there are many rules in this section of Scripture that do not apply to us in the 21st century, there are many that do still apply to us throughout all of Scripture. Instead of just brushing them off and saying that they are old school or irrelevant, consider how they could be relevant in your life or the world. Then, do your best to follow the rules and commandments the Lord has set, knowing that when you do fall short, it doesn’t change the Lord’s love for you or his grace. However, the call to repent and turn away from the things that push you toward breaking rules is important, if not more important, than the decrees themselves.

Questions for reflection:

  1. Do you recognize any decrees or commandments that are still relevant in your life today?
  2. How do you respond to rules? Do you follow them or do you like to see how far you can push them? How does this represent your response to the laws and commandments from Scripture?