“Why don’t you just let me do what I want?”
How do you view rules?
If your personality enjoys structure, order and clear expectations then your perspective on rules and lists would be very different from someone who thrives on innovation, adaption and creativity. To the former, rules provide a framework in which to function. To the latter, rules can strangle the fun and enjoyment from life.
As we look back thousands of years ago and read Exodus 20, how do we view the 10 commandments? Do we see the law as providing us a way to draw near to God or separating us from the Lord?
What does the law show us? The law shows us God’s character; the law creates a way to move forward as God and the Israelites entered into covenant with one another; the law shows our need of a Savior.
God rescued the Israelites from Egypt and there, in the desert at the foot of Mount Sinai, the Lord speaks to the people. If they will keep God’s covenant then they will be His treasured possession. And here, God uses Moses to again come near to the Lord and bring the covenant laws back down to the people.
3 When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” 4 Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.Exodus 24:3-4
And we know how the story goes from here. The people were never able to fulfill their pledge of obedience to the law and covenant of the Lord. But this was not futile; this was not without purpose.
Paul says this of the law, “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
God’s heart for His people was, “that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! Deuteronomy 5:29
And even when it looked like that would never happen, (that God’s people could never keep all His commands) God has a plan. The Lord worked even this to good – as our failure shows the need for a Savior, the way is prepared for Christ to save us, redeem us, and draw us near.