Law and Order

Elwin Ahu

"These are the laws you are to set before them..." (Exodus 21:1)
It was a brief and short introduction to a litany of laws to follow. Laws which listed everything from treatment of slaves to personal injuries, laws that concerned oxen and donkeys to immoralities and offerings. Laws, laws and more laws that would set any person's mind on information overload when reading it for the first time.

But, there was a greater reason why the Lord outlined these laws to the people. It was at a critical juncture in their journey. Remember, it was over 2 million people who had just left the land of Egypt and had broken free from the hand of Pharaoh. Not only did they leave Egypt, however; they were leaving one of the most civilized societies of the world at that time. From a land of law and order, the Israelites could easily slip into a nation of chaos and confusion. And God knew they needed to have certain parameters and boundaries established if they were to truly live free, as was His plan for their future.

His laws weren't only about personal injuries, oxen and donkey. In essence each law spelled out an action and a consequence. To bring order to this new society, the people needed to understand that for every action there would be a direct and immediate consequence. Without such laws, chaos would naturally result, as it was further revealed in the people's rebellious creation of the "golden calf."
It's a lesson I need to take to heart today, as well. Life isn't a game of chance, but a series of consequences that follow the actions that I decide to take. Whether in my thoughts, decisions, even in my interaction with others, there will be a direct and immediate consequence for everything that I do or choose to engage in. If there weren't any, life would be purposeless and without order. The question, then, what is the intended consequence that I wish to experience, then rewind the tape and take a look at my actions to see whether it aligns consistently with the intended result. For example, if I wish to see my marriage flourish, or my child growing up with a memorable childhood experience with dad, what am I doing today that will produce this consequence in my life? Sometimes we don't take the time to consider the consequences first, and end up living reactionary and inconsequential lives. It's about time my life became more intentional in everything that I do.
Lord, as I look at a brand new day approaching, help me to live my life according to Your truths, understanding the consequences for every action that I take. May I live more intentional for You in all that I do.

Devotions for January 28

Exodus 21,22
Psalms 12
Acts 4

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