“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Psalm 119:18
When I grumble and complain about the circumstances of my day, I am choosing to believe that God is not for me. I’m believing the lie that Adam and Eve believed: “God doesn’t want or know what’s best for me.” I forget that I am his beloved child, that he has provided for me and given my soul what it most needs. . . forgiveness and grace, freedom and life.
When God’s Old Testament people were wandering in the desert, sometimes they forgot that they were loved by him too. They got bogged down by the details of their daily lives and were sick of what the Lord was providing for them. Even though they grumbled, he helped them by giving them rules to live by. . . to help them know him and love him.
Sometimes we think God’s rules stifle us more than they help us. We get frustrated that he wants us to live a certain way that seems different from how the rest of the world lives. In reality, his rules are grace to us. They allow us to know what structure for life works best in this world. They help us to learn more about God’s heart and what he values. When we see that we can’t keep the rules perfectly (indeed we fall very short!), we see how much he has provided for us in Jesus. In Him we have a perfect Savior who followed God’s rules for us because we can’t. He stood in our place and died for the ways that we fall short, so that we may experience the love of his Father.
God knows that we can’t and won’t keep his rules perfectly, but he uses them to help us see how much we need his help in every part of our lives. We don’t follow these rules to make Him love us. . . . He already loves us and saves us. He knows we can’t keep the rules perfectly, so he provides a Savior who did.
For Further Reading: Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 22:36-40