Tag Archives: law

Return To God With A Whole Heart

Lately my Bible reading had been taking me on a tour of the Old Testament again. It has been interesting to trace the rise and fall of the diverse kings of Israel and Judah. Last week brought me to the story of Josiah and how he sought the God of his forefather David with all of his heart. The plot thickens and gets REALLY interesting when they discover the “book of the law” in the temple 18 years after Josiah began to reign at age 8. So as a man of 26 years of age he comes face to face with God’s promises to the “children of Israel”. The scriptures don’t specify which portion was read before the king, but I highly suspect it was the portion we find in Deuteronomy chapter 11. When Josiah heard about the blessing and the CURSE which was written in the book of the law, he tore his clothing and humbled himself before God for he knew that God would keep His Word and that trouble lay ahead of the people because of the sins they had committed. You can find the story of Josiah in II Chronicles 34. His heart was right before God, even though he didn’t have the Book of the Law to guide him.

What does this have to do with us today? Well, my reflections took me on a tour of US history. It took me back to when the colonies were working on a Constitution for the new nation and how they were unable to agree on anything until they took time to pray and ask God to guide them. It is my steadfast belief that He did guide them and that is the reason they were able to come up with such an outstanding document, one which has guided our nation over 200 years. As one reads things which the founding fathers wrote, it is clear that their intention was to establish a Christian nation. Not a country dominated by some denomination or other, but rather a land governed by the basic tenets and principles of morality taught in the collection of books known as the Bible. This foundation was recognized as late as 1890 when the Supreme Court of the United States of America stated that the US was a “christian state”. In fact, one of the greatest deceptions practiced by the enemies of Christ in the United States is the wresting out of context of a passage from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. In that letter Jefferson stated that the “wall of separation of church and state” was to high to allow for a certain denomination to become the official religion. This “separation of church and state” was not an absence of Godly influence in the government of the nation, but rather the absence of denominationalism which had caused so much death and destruction in “merry old England” and Europe. According to Jefferson, this would never come to pass in the United States because the first amendment prohibited Congress from enacting any law “respecting an establishment of religion”. Jefferson must be spinning in his grave because of the way his words have been twisted.

What is the future of our land? What will come to pass? When Josiah heard what the “Good Book” said, he humbled himself and sought the will of God. Because of this his land was spared from destruction. If we will humble ourselves and seek God, perhaps our nation too will once again turn to Him and so spare itself from His certain wrath.

How about you? Are you ready to seek Him? Are you ready to do His will and to forsake the pagan ways which are being forced upon us? Are you one of those “whose knees have not bowed before Baal and whose lips have not kissed him”, or have you allowed yourself to become like those who turn their backs on the Creator?

Let us take to heart these words from Deuteronomy 11: 18-22


18Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: 21That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. 22For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
King James Version

That is what it will take for us to take back this land for Him who established it. We HAVE to know His word and teach it to our children and our children’s children. It must invade each aspect of our lives, every facet of our being. It must be on our hearts and our minds, as we work, as we play and in each and every part of our families and being. So I end with these words which Joshua spoke in Joshua 24:15 and a paraphrase after them:

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.

King James Version

If you choose not to turn back to God who created you and established this nation, then choose which path you want to follow, the path of those who say “there is no God” or the path of those who say “all roads are the same”, but as for me and my house, we will follow God the Creator and His Son, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit, our seal unto the day of redemption.

Prison And The Law

If you do a quick study of, say, Leviticus, with an eye toward how the Jewish theocratic system of justice differed from our own, you find a number of interesting points:

1. Offenders were never allowed to be a burden on society. Penalties included restitution and corporal punishment even up to death, but never incarceration.

2. Justice was swift and local. Whether an offense called for the payment of a few coppers or a stoning, the local judge heard the dispute, made a ruling, and declared the sentence. Two weeks from crime to punishment was probably common.

3. Everybody knew the whole of the Law. The Pentateuch makes a smallish book, but it contains all of the Mosaic law with many repetitions, along with much history. Everyone could memorize the criminal code by their teenage years, and everyone was trained to do so. (This was part of what we call “education.”)

4. The Law was never distinguished from morality. The Israelites never had “victimless crimes.” Every offense was an offense against God for starters, and possibly others besides. This is important because the Law was never arbitrary, and so never engendered contempt.

These are traits I’d like to see brought back to our own laws, but I tell you the truth…I’m not holding my breath.