It was stated by Spinoza, “There is no good or evil in any absolute sense. Good and evil are relative notions- relative to us and our particular interests and uses.” Spinoza, along with many post-modern thinkers, has a desire to do away with the idea of set standards. The world is slowly changing the definition of what it is to love and what it is to be hateful. A popular way of defining love is always agree with people, always affirm them in whatever they do, and to let them have their own way. Therefore a hateful person is seen as someone who stands on a set of moral norms that determine what is right and wrong and yes and no. It has become extremely taboo to tell someone he is wrong in any belief he may have or action he may take, especially when those beliefs or actions are based on emotions or desires.
Now, if you are wondering, why is all this in an article on God’s love? It is because I want you to see that the popular trend today is to go against what I believe is the most loving thing revealed to us, God’s Law. Most people, when talking about love, would usually go to 1 John or 1 Corinthians 13, but for me, it is the revelation of the Law, the Ten Commandments. When God revealed the great variety of fruits that Adam and Eve could eat, He also lovingly warned them of one they could not eat. It was God’s love that showed them their limits not the idea that good and evil are relative. They are true notions of actual reality.
When we look at God’s calling of the nation of Israel, the first thing needed were laws to establish the characteristics of that nation. The most unloving thing is to tell a group they are your people but then not let them know what that looks like. When you do not have an established set of rules, anarchy and chaos soon follow. To say it is okay to let people live according to their “relative notions” is actually most unloving. When God established the Law it was a revelation of His Character and showed the people how they could properly love Him and love one another. Because God is love (1 John 4:8), the revelation of His Character in the Law shows us the path to true love. If you really care for someone, your greatest desire should be to know how to please that person. Well, for us, God showed us how to make please Him through His revealed will.
That’s why when Christ came, He always obeyed the Father (John 5:19) and always pleased Him. There was a unique love relationship that flowed between Jesus Christ and God the Father. Jesus was the full revelation of God as the Word of God (John 1:1; 14). That’s why Jesus can now say that those who love Him will obey His teaching (John 14:23). The greatest demonstration of love is obedience to God’s holy word. This is even seen in Deuteronomy 7:12, that the Covenant of Love was contingent on Israel’s obedience to the Law. Thankfully Christ perfectly obeyed all the Law and through Him, the Covenant of Love is maintained.
This is so important because the greatest way to honor God and give Him glory is through the path of holiness. The Character of holiness is seen in loving obedience to God’s Law.
God is not like an ogre giving us a bunch of do’s and don’ts, but is simply revealing the most loving way for us to live. For us, the greatest thing is His Law because it shows us how to truly love. In living a life of obedient love, we live in holiness and that brings God the greatest glory. This is why, when we come to love Christ, the embodiment of God’s Law, we love what is perfect. When we share the truth about Christ, the one who fulfilled the Law and died for sin, and a person gets saved, it is glorious. It is glorious because a sinner who was in rebellion against God has now been changed into someone that is covered by the blood of the One who completely and perfectly fulfilled the Law. The saved sinner, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, is now seen as one who has perfectly satisfied the Law. This is so beautiful and encouraging for anyone dealing with the guilt of ‘wrong’. Therefore when God sees us, He does not see our sin, He sees the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ. To make morality relative or right and wrong, is unloving. To love is to embrace the Law and lift it up not deny it.
The following are some examples of what Scripture says about the Law of God. It should be remembered (Ex. 13:9), it should be preserved (Ex. 16:34), it must be obeyed (Lev. 18:4), it brings life (Lev. 18:5), it applies to everyone (Num. 15:29), obedience to it is righteousness (Deut. 6:25), it should be on our lips (Jos. 1:8), and it is perfect and refreshes the soul (Ps. 19:7). King David desired to do God’s law (Ps. 40:8), and the author of Psalm 119:97 explicitly states “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it day and night.”
May this be the cry of our heart, that we would not see the Law of God as something that is to be despised, but as something we love. Let it be that our sinful hearts that naturally hate and rebel against the things of God, would now be hearts that love His Law and desire to obey it. May we be reminded that a father who disciplines his children is truly loving and not being an ogre. The law is not just a list of things to obey but is the expression of true devotion and love to God because it shows us what true love for God and others looks like. May we love the greatest good, the glory of God.