In this third and last paper on the subject of God’s Laws, we have been warmed and instructed by a small booklet having the above title, written by Thomas Cameron. (Lutterworth Press, 1945) I should like to use his thesis, with a few additions, in this article.Before embarking on the subject, let me say yet again how disturbing we find it when some Christians pour scorn on God’s Laws, as though His legislation was something that was intrinsically bad. I am, of course, aware of Colossians 2:14, (the source of their assertion) where Paul said that “the handwriting of ordinances which was against us, which was contrary to us, He took out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” But when this verse is lined up with the great volume of Paul’s teaching on the subject, we are left with the inescapable conclusion that it was the CONDEMNATION that was removed, enabling us to have new life in Christ, where under the New Covenant we find God’s Laws written in our hearts instead of on tablets of stone. The purpose of the Law was to highlight our sinful condition and drive us to the cross in repentance. God forbid that we should thereafter walk in lawlessness. Consider the following list of twelve “kindly laws.”
1. FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY. Deut.15:12-13. After six years the Hebrew servant was to be given his freedom. In addition, he was not allowed to go out from his master’s house with nothing. He was to be supplied liberally, to enable him to set up his own home.
2. LOST PROPERTY. Deut.22:1-3 “Finders keepers” was NOT to be a part of life. We are required to look after lost property until the owner is found.
3. BATTLEMENTS FOR SAFETY. Deut.22:8 Houses with flat roofs, and those with parapets MUST have safety walls, otherwise the owner will be guilty of manslaughter if someone falls to his death.
4. PROMPT PAYMENT OF WAGES. Lev.19:13, Deut.24:14-15. The master must not withhold payment of wages, butimburse his servant at the end of the day.
5. CONSIDERATION FOR THE POOR. Deut.24:19, Lev.19:9. Gleanings at harvest time, and the “forgotten sheaf” must be left for the poor.
6. CARE FOR ANIMALS AND BIRDS. Deut.22:6-7, 25:4. The ox must not be muzzled whilst treading the corn. Mother birds must not be removed from their nests. Neither must ALL the eggs be taken by one who is hungry.
7. KINDNESS TO THE DEAF AND BLIND. Lev.19:14 It is shameful to mock those who are deprived of their sight or hearing.
8. HONESTY IN THE HANDLING OF MERCHANDISE. Deut.25:13 Fair dealing in all business transactions is imperative. Accuracy of weights and measures required.
9. REVERENCE FOR OLD AGE. Lev.19:32 The white-haired elder must be given proper respect by younger members of the community.
10. MIXTURES ARE DISALLOWED. Deut.22:9-11 Garments must not be made using a mixture of wool and cotton. Textile manufacturers will vouch for this today. The garment would soon pull apart. The fibres do not “marry together”. ( Today man-made fibres enable the two to marry but that’s not relevant to the point. ) The same is true for carpets.
11. FAMILY LOANS MUST NOT ATTRACT INTEREST. Deut.23:19. When your brother is need of a loan, you must not charge him interest. Outside the family it is acceptable, but not with brethren.
12. JOY FOR THE NEWLY-WEDS. Deut.24:5 The bridegroom shall be exempted from military service and all business matters for a whole year, so that he can “cheer up his wife,” in other words, the Lord wanted the new marriage to be effectively welded into a union of spirits.
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The whole spirit of these laws, when applied to modern living, is accepted not only by Christians, but also by most decent-living people. In fact many of our social laws are founded on this ancient legislation. To honour such laws is to recognise the true heart and character of the Lord Himself, and in the Day of Judgment, all men will find that they are rewarded or punished in accordance with their attitude towards God’s laws. We do not keep these laws to obtain justification, (the mistake the Jews made), but out of a heart of reverence towards God, the Author of good and kindly laws.
Psalm 119:97 “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”
Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they who love Thy law, and they shall have no stumbling block.”