A devotional thought from Halim Suh for “The Law”
For a small window of time in my life, I dreamed of what it would look like to be a marine. Then I looked up the requirements and training plans of the Marines. It turns out there are a lot—and it seems like it’s pretty hard to become a marine. There went my dream.
Before I looked up what was asked of a marine, I had an idea of what it might look like, but it wasn’t grounded in any sort of authority. In many ways this is how the law served the Israelites. They knew they were to be children of the promise, but they had no idea what it meant to live out that identity. The law was meant to show them what it meant to truly display the character of God to the world—just as they were created to do. It was meant to help them understand what it looked like to be holy.
Romans 7:7: “What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet.”
Without the law we had no hope of knowing what a life of obedience really looked like. Without the law we would be forced to make up what holiness looked like for ourselves. The law was meant to show us what it looks like to honor God. It should force us to our knees with the realization that we are so far from that standard that we can never make it. It is meant to show us our need for a Savior.
Pause and Reflect
• Why do you think it matters to God that we be holy as He is holy?
• Why do you think the Israelites believed they could keep the law without the need of a Savior? Do you find yourself trying to keep the law for your salvation as well? How so?