“…but you must not . . .” Genesis 2.17
Commandments can be like a red rag to a bull! The very fact that we are told not to do something often makes us want to do it even more! None of us like being given long lists of rules but sometimes the Bible seems to be just that. However, are rules necessarily bad? Let’s consider two points.
The first is that rules form the boundaries within which life can be lived safely and enjoyed. If there was no highway code it would lead to mayhem, and a lack of rules in a particular sport would lead to it being unidentifiable and probably grossly unfair. It is rules that allow safety, fairness and fun.
This leads on to the second reason why rules can be good – they point to the heart behind them. God gave rules because in his love he knew the best way for us to live, and some were given because they encompass principles that are there for our protection and well-being. All the Father’s commandments are because he loves us and wants us to live life in all its fullness.
Whenever you come across a commandment, ask yourself what it shows you about the Father’s heart for you and for the world? The more you actually seek for his heart, the more you will find it.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission