We are all subject on a daily basis to laws and regulations that must be followed, or we face consequences – be that tickets for minor infractions or more serious consequences, including incarceration or even worse. . . but why do laws exist? Obviously, there are different kinds of laws, but the ones that we come in contact with on a daily basis are supposed to keep us all safe: If we wear our seatbelts, there is a much lower chance of us being seriously injured killed if there is a collision; if we don’t drive impaired or distracted and we don’t speed, there is a much lower chance of us being in an accident to begin with; and if we live responsibly, there is a much lower chance of us being impaired or distracted.
Our guide to life, The Bible, has a lot of different suggestions and demands that have been passed down to us through thousands of years and hundreds of generations to try to keep us safe and help us live a better life. The Bible is full of verses on following rules – I found at least 94 verses on following the law – here are a few:
Leviticus 11: (11,13) Whatever is in the water that does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you. . . These moreover you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard. . . (why?)
Exodus 20: (13,14,15,16,17) You shall not murder. . . You shall not commit adultery. . . You shall not steal. . . You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. . . (why?)
Titus 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work. Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. . . (why?)
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. . . (why?)
Throughout history, we the human race have traditionally found it difficult to follow the laws given to us (that’s why we were thrown out of The Garden to begin with. . .). Thankfully, we have a servant leader and savior who finally gave us one that it is easy to follow: Matthew 22:34-40 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So, we follow our rules and regulations for many good reasons — to protect our loved ones, our friends, the public, coworkers and ourselves; to ensure stability and profitability for the company and to make our lives easier; to name just a few.
We are J-Bar — we are blessed beyond measure. We love — we are thankful beyond measure. We serve, and in so doing become the leaders that God wants us to be.