Recently I watched a news story about traffic cameras installed at key intersections to capture images of people speeding or failing to stop at red lights. The police chief noted, “The law is the same as it always has been. But because people see the cameras, they are more aware of it.”
You could make a similar observation about commandments we find in the Bible. Many people regard the laws and commands in the Scriptures as merely a collection of do’s and don’ts, established by a cosmic killjoy intent on restricting our freedom. But if God is indeed our Creator, as the Bible declares, He knows how we function most effectively.
Take the everyday example of a heavily traveled street in a medium-sized town. If there were no posted speed limits, one could assume it’s permissible to drive down the street at any speed. Intuitively, however, we understand that’s foolishness.
With other vehicles also on the road, not to mention pedestrians and intersections where oncoming vehicles might suddenly appear, we recognize even without a speed limit sign that we should drive carefully and wisely. However, once a speed limit is posted, we know authorities have determined what speed is safe for that street – assuming other conditions, such as rain, snow or ice, are not added to the equation.
In the same way, the Bible says that the law was given for our instruction. Proverbs 4:13 says, “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”
We don’t resent the manufacturer of a car, an appliance, even a video game, for providing a manual that tells us how to properly operate the equipment. In the same way, the Bible simply teaches us how we can best conduct our lives as our Maker intended.