The King and His Kingdom
Fearing God Produces Long Life
Many have seen the rules of the kingdom as being impossible to keep. They see them as harsh and unrealistic. It is easy for some to get the idea that God just gave us this big set of rules that he knew we couldn’t keep just so he would have an excuse to chastise us.
What was the intent of the Lord in giving these commands? His purpose is clearly stated in verse two, “so that you may enjoy long life.” God knew that the way to long life was to live in harmony with him, others and the earth. That’s all the laws, or rules, of the kingdom are about. They are about reestablishing the harmony that God had with man in the garden so long ago.
Are these laws difficult to keep? Yes they are. In fact, over the years the Jews had tried to define the law very carefully so that a person would not in any way offend God. Their effort produced a set of rules that no man could follow. They had missed the point.
That was not God’s intention in giving the law. He gave man the law so that he would have a guide to being in relationship with him. One of the keys to understanding the kingdom is not just to abide by the rules but it is to understand that God is preparing us for kingdom life. He speaks of fearing God and obeying the commands so that we will have long life, but ultimately the life we gain is eternal life.
When you are concerned about obeying the rules and gaining long life just remember the core of the commands. It is respect. Respect God, the earth and others. Love God and love others and you will fulfill the entire purpose of the law.
We often hear the “obey these laws” command, but we seem to miss the part which says, “that you may enjoy long life.” When we live out God’s law we are building healthy relationships, we are living a healthy lifestyle, and we have a healthy relationship with God. All of those result in having a long life.
Prayer: Lord, I need your Spirit to enable to live righteously. Amen.
Message: One of the keys to understanding the kingdom is not just to abide by the rules but it is to understand that God is preparing us for kingdom life. He speaks of fearing God and obeying the commands so that we will have long life, but ultimately the life we gain is eternal life.
Affirmation: I understand that God's laws are given so that we may have access to the abundant life Christ promised us.
Reflection: Some see the laws of God as being too restrictive, and others see them as a guide for living well. How do you see the laws of God?