January 14, 2019
365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 45: Lawgiver
"May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors." (1 Kings 8:57, 58 NIV)
Hello, dear NOG friends! Are you still with me? I hope I didn't lose you with today's name! I've been so blessed to see responses like "I needed this" to past names along our journey, but I'm not sure anyone was thinking they needed "Lawgiver" today. Yet in the 300+ days ahead, we will visit pretty much every name, title, attribute, and description of God we can glean from the fields of His Word...and this is one of them. But if you stay with me, I believe you'll find something about God in this name that you didn't even know you needed. Thank you for your steadfastness! (And have I mentioned lately how thankful I am for you?)
Yesterday, we looked at God as our Covenant Keeper and at the Bible as the story of His covenant: the Old Covenant before Christ's birth, death, and resurrection and the New Covenant after Christ's arrival as "Emmanuel"...the with of God. (And here I want to be careful to clarify that Jesus has always been part of the story...He is woven throughout its tapestry from the very opening threads.)
Too, God's Word is the story of the Old Law and New Law. One characteristic of God Himself and one of his objectives for us is holiness: being set apart. God is set apart from everything by the very nature of His "otherness" and perfection. He calls us to be set apart for Him...for His purposes and plans.
Under the old covenant, holiness was attempted via an extensive set of laws. These rules regulated outward behavior in an effort to produce inward holiness. In endeavoring to follow these laws, God's chosen people were supposed to remember a hundred times a day—every time they put on their clothes or ate a meal or found a spot of mildew (I'm not making this up...see Leviticus 13, "Regulations About Mildew")—that they were set apart.
Thanks be to God, under the new law, holiness is achieved through faith in Christ, the Holy One, whose perfection is credited to our account via God's deposits of grace and mercy. Whereas the ancients may have felt burdened by the old law of rules and regulations, may we now be burdened by the law of love. And may it be such a sweet "burden" that we join the cry of the Psalmist: "Oh, how I love your law! Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart." (Psalm 119;97,111)