“For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!”
Romans 4:15 (NLT)
When the House of Pain burned down on the island of Dr. Moreau, the creatures that had paid many visits to it, gleefully proclaimed, “there is no House of Pain.” For the Beast People this meant the punishment they received when they broke the law was over…or so they thought. In order to maintain control over them, Edward Prendick, a survivor of a shipwreck who lands on this island, will become a sorta Baptist preacher pounding on his pulpit. With images of hellfire and damnation, Prendick will proclaim that “the House of Pain will come again” but that’ll never happen as the Beast People will eventually revert to their natural instincts.
Even though “The Island of Doctor Moreau”, written by H.G. Wells in 1896, was a work of science fiction, it’s impact on popular culture is undeniable. In 1983 I stumble across a music album done by the rock band Oingo Boingo titled, “Good For Your Soul”, and on it is a song, influenced by this sci-fi novel, titled, “No Spill Blood”. Within the lyrics are a series of questions that are being asked. “Who makes the rules?” and “What happens when we break the law?” are two of them but the one that left me wondering is, “What is the law?”
Well, if we leave that up to the government to answer, they’ll pretty much legislate laws that’ll give society some kinda moral compass. Some of the laws they enact are good, don’t steal and don’t murder are pretty good examples. Then there are those we have issue with, like do pay your taxes, do obey speed limits, and the infamous do use your turn signals. But what is the law is God’s eyes? Well, that can be an easy one to answer because it’ll be through God’s laws that we’ll become aware of the contrast between what we do and what we oughta do.
Our Bibles are full of stories of what happens when God’s law is broken. Even while He was giving Moses The Law on Mt. Sinai, God’s chosen people decided to violate the first and second commandments with their golden calf idea that left some of them drinking gold flavored Kool-Aid. When King David messed around with Bathsheba, the consequences literally shook up his family. And when the Pharisee of Pharisees, Saul, decided it was up to him to stop “The Way”, Jesus Christ would blind him on the road to Damascus and literally change the way he did God’s business. When he became the apostle Paul, he would go on to write, in detail, the struggle that we all experience trying to keep God’s law. Romans 7:14-21 comes to mind.
In Matthews Gospel, chapter 22, we’ll see all these experts in The Law trying to trap Jesus into saying something off center. He’s already silenced the Sadducees so one of those wacky Pharisees decided they had a better question for Him. “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied,
“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Ya see, the root word is what Jesus is saying to us is love. It would seem the only way this all works is through God’s love. This concept isn’t explored on the island of Doctor Moreau, is it? No, but the concept that when man intervenes on the natural order of what the Creator has set before us, love seems to go out the window and destruction is just around the corner. The disciple whom Jesus loved understood this and penned these words…
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
So, what is the law? I think Jesus pretty much answers that. When our value system changes from the fear of punishment by man to a fear of separation from the love of our Creator (which is punishment enough) our attitude to obey the law changes. We won’t worry about the “Thou Shall Not’s” instead we’ll be concerned with “What can I do to glorify God?” It’ll be in this that all question will be answered. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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