For law or for relationship? (Part II)

“Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.” Galatians 5:3

Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

I love that we always have a choice when it comes to God. The choice to obey the law or the choice to obey Christ. It might seem like the same thing, but apparently it’s not. Even if the law may lead us to Christ, it is more restricting than choosing to follow Him. But, we need tangible rules to follow, don’t we? Remember when the Israelites wanted a king instead of choosing to follow God? According to 1 Samuel 8:6, “Give us a king to lead us” the people asked the priest, Samuel. God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 8:7, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” This is equivalent to choosing the law over a relationship with Christ, the one who made the law. In essence, our fallible, humanistic nature wants something we are able to see. Whether it comes as laws or kings, it is much easier for the mind to feel a bit of control over the uncontrollable things. So, God says, every man who lets himself be circumcised … is obligated to obey the whole law.”

It seems to be that simple, but the trouble is that like the king, the law will strangle us to our demise. “Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.


What are the obligations of choosing the Law?

This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.

1 Samuel 8: 11-17

For these reasons, choosing the law or choosing a king, is saying yes to the fallible nature of humans. A king will never be merciful, just, and righteous like God. The law requires someone to uphold it, therefore it becomes more like a yoke, because it has a tendency to take away our rights, and to treat everyone the same. It is a burden that we are not meant to carry. This was the reason we needed Christ to come and die for us. God knew the day would come when we would cry out to him. “Then that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day” (1 Samuel 8:18). He already knows what we can bear, and He gave us choices. Yet it is His personal advice to us to choose relationship with Christ, rather than choosing the Law. Again, if you choose the law, you have to obey ALL of it. But, God says, there is a better way. Choose relationship with God. Because, “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” It’s that simple.

Finally, Christ “…did not come to abolish (the law), but to fulfill (it)” (Matthew 5:17). The beauty of all of this is, the law pointed to Christ all along. And he summed it up for us this way, “ the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). In other words, since the beginning of time, all God has ever wanted from us is relationship. He wants us to make the choice to love Him, not the Law.  

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