By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North - Shreveport, La.

Wouldn't if be nice if everyone obeyed the laws of the land? There would be no more crime to contend with. There would be no more violence to try to contend with. There would be no more violence to try and suppress. The nation as a whole would function according to the principles it was built upon two hundred years ago. The economy would be stabilized, and all of our foreign debts would be marked "paid in full." This sounds like a dream, but it doesn't have to be. These things could well come true in our life time if we would only realize two things about our God. "God is a law giving and a law loving God."

As you open the first page of your Bible, one of the most outstanding events taking place is God, the supreme power, creating the world and its inhabitants out of nothing. In this creation God exhibits one of His characteristics, "His love for law." God loves law so much that He governs the whole physical universe by it. Stars and planets stay in their orbits because they obey God's law. The seed in animal and plant life reproduce after their own kind and stay in their proper sphere because they obey the laws of God. We see even by this that God is a law giving God. After providing a place for man to live, God created Adam. He placed this man in the garden of Eden and gave him laws to live by. (Gen. 2:17). Even after He created Eve, the woman, more laws were given. (Gen. 2:24). These laws were strongly impressed upon the minds of mankind. Even though they would violate them, they would pass them on from generation to generation for their children to live by.

The laws given in the garden of Eden were given to prepare man for another law, the Law of Moses. This law was given to the descendants of Jacob, better known as Israel. The nation of Israel was compelled to live according to these laws. As long as that nation lived by these laws they were well pleasing to God. Whenever they rejected these laws and did not live according to them, God rejected them. For this reason God sent His prophets every day to try and reason with the people to return to His laws. God demands that a man must either live by His laws or suffer the consequences. Because God is a "law loving God", He must be this way. We must see God as He really is, "a law giving and a law loving God" who cannot stand violations of His law.

One would think by this time God would be done with giving new laws, but this is not true. God used the Law of Moses to bring a nation of people to the point that they would accept Jesus Christ when He came into the world. (Gal. 3:24). God had a final set of laws that He wanted to deliver to all the inhabitants of the earth and He did this through His Son. (Heb. 1:1-2). If we ever expect to be in the right relationship with God, then we must put away our own ways and live according to God's ways. Jeremiah said a long time ago, "O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). If a man insists on having his own way in regard to keeping God's laws, then surely he needs to hear the words of the wise man Solomon. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Pro.14:12). Again he said, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsel". (Pro. 12:15).

If every man would only realize and respect the fact that "God is a law giving and a law loving God", then we could see a worldwide reform. Man would not only be able to have the stains of his sins removed, but he could make the world a better place to live.

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