THE LAWGIVER AND THE OBEDIENCE TO HIM
(Unedited notes of
Pastor Nick Bibile)
The word law in Hebrew is the word torah, and it comes from the word hora which means to teach, and to instruct. The Hebrew word for commandment means mitzvah. The Greek word for law is nomos.
God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works; God required perfect obedience from Adam. God promised life if he fulfilled the obedience and threatened death if he broke the covenant, and Adam had the power to keep it or to break it as he was made perfect. But Adam sinned against the Lord. And the Law after Adam's fall continued as God required obedience from his creatures, (Ge And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.) as God made it very clear by giving the 10 Commandments.
The law governs our life. Whichever country we live or where ever we go, if in school, job or even on vacation there are laws we have to obey. By nature our hearts and mind are evil, if there are no laws in a country, no policemen, no judges and no prisons there will be utter chaos. We will see murder, rape, and theft openly. But the laws are given to govern us and we are required to obey these laws. The 10 commandments are given by God Almighty the Lawgiver to govern the disposition of our heart, thoughts, words and conduct.
The Lawgiver is God, the Creator and Preserver of all things. He is above the local magistrate, he is above the policeman on the road, and he is above the President. He is the majestic and the exalted One, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He gives life to man and preserves his being. He has the authority to issue laws without our vote. We are all subject to him in existence and to the obedience of his law.
How was the Law
First of all the 10 Commandments were given by pronouncement, means by a formal announcement. We see this in Exodus 19. The people had to sanctify themselves for two days.
Exodus So Moses went down from the
mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their
Exodus And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives."
Exodus 19:16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.
Exodus 19:17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
Exodus 19:18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
Exodus 19:19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.
Exodus 19:20 Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
Exodus 19:21 And the Lord said to Moses, "Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the Lord, and many of them perish.
Exodus 19:22 "Also let the priests who come near the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them."
Exodus 19:23 But Moses said to the Lord, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for You warned us, saying, 'Set bounds around the mountain and consecrate it.' "
Exodus 19:24 Then the Lord said to him, "Away! Get down and then come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest He break out against them."
Exodus 19:25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.
When we see a policeman down the road there is a fear that comes to our hearts. How much more when we see the presence of God? There was respect and reverence to God.
Secondly the law was given by inscription upon two tablets of stone. The law was not written on paper, nor silver or gold, but on stone and the stone was made by God, he wrote the Law on the stone. It was the writing of God himself.
What is the duty which God requireth of man? (The Larger Catechism)
The duty, which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.
1. Rom. 12:1-2; Micah 6:8; I Sam. 15:22
Exodus 19:5 'Now
therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you
shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
Exodus 19:6 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
Deuteronomy 27:9 Then
Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, "Take heed
and listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 27:10 "Therefore you shall obey the voice of the Lord your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today."
God gives the 10 Commandments and what is our duty towards him? Obedience. Today there are many people who hear the word of God and not obeying the word of God. Jesus said "Take heed what you hear. ((Mark 4:24) Why we obey? Because we honor God? If you do not have any respect to someone then you will not honor him or his word. But We as Christians honor and respect God. Obedience without knowledge is blind. If someone tells you to jump on a well that is 40 feet deep, you will not jump because you think before you obey. (Samuel I 2:3 "Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed." Psalms 19:2 "Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.") And knowledge without obedience is useless. 'To obey is better than sacrifice.' I Sam 15: 22. Saul thought it was enough for him to offer sacrifices, though he disobeyed God's command; but 'to obey is better than sacrifice.' Religious sacrifices are useless without obedience.
"For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I
brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or
Jeremiah 7:23 "But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.'
Why did God give us the 10 Commandments? To obey them. Why does the magistrate give a law? To obey?
What is the rule
Psalms 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."
The Bible. God's Word. We can be very excited in God and teach and do service in the name of God and if it is not in accordance with the word of God then we are disobeying the Lord. If it is not according to the Word of God then our worship to God is invain. The Roman Catholics and the cults have many rituals and traditions and man made laws that they have to obey but they are not according to Word of God. They are abominable to the Lord.
What are the ingredients in our obedience that make it acceptable?
Willingness to obey.
Isaiah 1:19 "If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land." Hypocrites obey God grudgingly, and against their will. Willingly means joyfully, cheerfully and not with a long face and a moody attitude. The Lord wants to see his servants cheerfully obeying him and serving him. Willingness is the heart and soul of obedience. Remember Cain, he brought his sacrifice but not his heart, not willingly, he did not give the best of the fruits. God sometimes accepts of willingness without the work, but never of the work without willingness.
Obedience must be
devoted to God in a fervent spirit.
Romans 12:11 "not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;"
Just like the boiling
water, our hearts should boil with hot affection to serve the Lord in
obedience. Obedience without fervency is like a sacrifice without fire. It is
fervency that makes obedience acceptable to the Lord. Elijah was fervent
in spirit, and his prayer opened and shut heaven; and again he prayed, and fire
fell on his
enemies. 2 Kings 1: 10. Elijah's prayer fetched fire from heaven, because, being fervent, it carried fire up to heaven.
Obedience to all the Commandments of the Lord.
Psalms 119:6 Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.
God wants full obedience and not partial obedience. God does not need halfhearted obedience.
Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
Obedience must be
Why we want to give glory to God, that we have a clean conscience in our obedience, as all glory belongs to God. By obedience to God in his service my motive has to be innocent and pure before the Lord. We should not be looking for popularity and applause from the people. There are many preachers who get applause in their sermons today, and want to be the spotlight as people focus on the preacher than the Lord. If you are looking for popularity here you have already received your reward from men.
Matthew 6:2 "Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward."
What should be the ends of our obedience, the actions may look right but what about our hearts?
Chronicles II 25:1
Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned
twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
Chronicles II 25:2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.
Obedience must be in Christ Jesus. Because it was not our obedience that God accepted us as his children but Christ's obedience.
Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
When we worship God, it should be in Christ, as we present Christ to God. We will certainly provoke God if we come in our own confidence and our obedience rather than the Christ's finished work and his merits. All have to be done in Christ, and not by ourselves alone. In the Old Testament people cannot go to God by themselves, the mediator was the priest. The priest was presented to God on behalf of the people. In the same way we need to present Christ, as he is our mediator and we come to God with His merits and his obedience, we cannot do anything without Christ.
Chronicles II 26:16
But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he
transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to
burn incense on the altar of incense.
Chronicles II 26:17 So Azariah the priest went in after him and with him were eighty priests of the Lord-valiant men.
Chronicles II 26:18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God."
Chronicles II 26:19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the incense altar.
Chronicles II 26:20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him.
Why was God angry with King Uzziah? He wanted to be obedience, on his own without the priest. This is pride and arrogance. God struck him with leprosy.
must be constant.
Psalms 106:3 "Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!"
It is like the fire on the altar, which was always kept burning. (Leviticus 6:13 'A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.') Hypocrite's obedience is only for a season but true obedience is constant. Though we meet with affliction and hardship we must go on in our obedience. (Job 17:9 "Yet the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.") We as Christians have bowed to Christ and not to the world and will fight under Christ even to death. When a servant has entered into covenant with his master, he cannot go back, he must serve out his time; so are we, as Christ has made a new covenant with his people, and we re-new the covenant in the Lord's Supper that we will be faithful and constant in our obedience; therefore we must imitate Christ, who became obedient unto death. Phil 2: 8. We need to run the race to the end. (Revelation 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.
Revelation 2:28 and I will give him the morning star."
Jeremiah 44:15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying:
Jeremiah 44:16 "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you!
I am sure these words
of his own people hurt Jeremiah, these people knew their duty towards God, and
yet became arrogant as they continued in the pleasures of that day. They
became rebellious towards God. They continued in disobedience as the sins were
more pleasurable to the flesh and more exciting, and hell followed them all the
way to their grave. Knowing the word of God and being disobedient is that
the mastermind deceiver - Satan, has deceived you. You need to deny your
lust and obey God.
Luke 12:47 "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."
On that day you cannot tell God, "I was too busy." Yes, you were fond of sin and had the time for sinful pleasures.
In conclusion we need to understand that the moral law (10 Commandments) still continues today, only the ceremonial law was abolished. We need to go back to the roots, the 10 commandments and keep it as a standard for our living, and when we realize we fall short of obedience we how wicked we are in the site of God, then we can embrace the grace of God towards us in Christ Jesus. We shall avoid sin and walk in Christ and imitate him and grow in him to become more like him.