Most people do not like rules. Well, at least rules that they have to follow. We might like imposing rules on others, but we typically rebel against rules that we have to follow. It starts when we are very young and continues as we get older. When one is young they don’t like the rule that you have to eat all your vegetables in order to get dessert. In the teen years, the dreaded curfew comes along. As adults, who likes a speed limit? No matter what the rule we seem to want to disobey. But here is something we all really know, rules are for our protection. We want the child to eat vegetables because vegetables are filled with the vitamins and minerals that a child needs to help them grow and develop properly. Curfews are meant to keep teens from being out when most of the bad stuff happens. Speed limits are meant to prevent wrecks, including the injuries that can come with them. Rules truly are meant for good.
In Exodus 20, we find the most famous set of rules–The Ten Commandments. I have every reason to believe that God first knows that they are for our good. If you obey them, there is much trouble that you can avoid. However, the Ten Commandments really have a greater purpose. They are meant to show us God’s grace. In verse 20, Moses shares a great truth with the people when they find themselves trembling in the presence of God who has just given the Ten Commandments. Look at what he said. Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” We often think of the Ten Commandments as setting us up for failure. We often view them as things for God to punish us for. However, that is not the case at all. They are meant to help us not sin. In truth, all these things were problems before God gave the list. He brought them to our attention because people can have the tendency to not see the dangers. People easily covet and don’t see how quickly and easily coveting turns into wanting something so badly that they will cheat to get it. Or people find it easy to tell a lie and do not see that it can destroy lives. God gave us the Ten Commandments for our good. He was protecting us from ourselves. The Ten Commandments are instruments of grace.
Let me encourage you today to be thankful that God cares enough to give you directions that protect you from the danger ahead, instead of complaining about what God has asked you to do. Take time to thank God for His grace.