The Bible

Deuteronomy 29:29 states: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”(NIV). The point of this verse is that the law given through Moses was for the benefit of people and not to be thought of as a burdensome requirement. God promised to bless those who turned from sin and obeyed His laws: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season” (Ps.1:2-3a ESV).

Yes, it is true that humanity cannot perfectly keep all the requirements God gave them. However, a sacrificial system was set up which pictured the Messiah’s substitution for sin and then the offerer, now at peace with God, enjoyed a rich meal with rejoicing: “They have raised a shout in the house of the Lord as on the day of an appointed festival.” (Lam. 2:7c. NIV).

God wants to redeem humanity and gave regulations for the benefit of society. Even in instances where a sin is against God Himself it hurts humans themselves to have a wrong concept of their creator. In Ecclesiastes it speaks of wickedness enslaving its practitioners: “so wickedness will not release those who practice it.” (Ec.8:8c NIV).

The Bible does speak of Christians grieving the Holy Spirit and often the Israelites would hurt God by their sins but this refers to the normal loving relationship that God has with people. Yes, He is hurt when his children stray as any parent would be when a child makes wrong choices since the parent loves and wants what is best for their children without any regard for themselves. This is how God feels about His children.

The concept of God being apart from human actions good or bad is clearly shown in Job 35:6-7: “If you sin, how does that affect him? If your sins are many, what does that do to him? If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand?” (NIV).

Paul presents the true situation of humanity’s position to the Creator as recorded in his address to the philosophers in Athens: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 17:24-25 NIV)

Jesus corrected the Pharisees when they opposed Him with their punctilious requirement of Him not working on the Sabbath after healing a man: Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” (Lk.14:5 NIV). The religious leaders of His day got the concept of Sabbath-keeping completely wrong as if Jesus was greedily trying to get ahead by “working” on the seventh day. They rescued their child or animal on the Sabbath but couldn’t realize the similar deliverance of the man with a paralyzed hand.

God had instituted this rest day for reflection of Him and His word and to spend time with the family instead of continually striving for more gain. After all God would bless them if they were faithful to Him. So we see the purpose of God graciously giving His instructions to humanity was for their good: “Then he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mk. 2:27 NIV).

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