Could you follow one rule?
Or even just two?
In the Garden of Eden, we were given just one rule – do not eat of the fruit on the tree in the center of the garden. Simple enough, huh? Explore, eat, relax, commune, worship – don’t eat from the tree.
Then Satan comes along and asks Eve if God really meant what He said. If the rule was even worthwhile. If God was truly wise about creating this one stipulation.
Of course, we all know that Eve was tempted and Adam as well, causing the first (of many) blood atonements – the shedding of animal skin as covering for our first forebears.
Ten rules: the Ten Commandments. God delivers them to Moses as an example of what must be done to preserve holiness in the people of Israel. We later see rules established in Leviticus and Deuteronomy for the people of Israel to realize the holiness of God.
Two rules: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
With these two rules, I marvel at the incredible mercy of God. Once we were under the curse of the Law. Now, we enjoy the freedom found in Christ to love one another, atoning for our sins continually at Jesus’s salvation. God chose to send His son into this itty-bitty world, to a cosmically insignificant people, in order to glorify His name in the earth.
Because of Jesus’s death for us, we realize a freedom that Adam and Eve once knew. We have the freedom to explore, create, and control. For that fact alone should we praise His name. Given that He is the giver of all good things, we also realize God’s grace.
As you construct parameters for your own life, remember that God’s desire for us is to remain a people passionate about His glory. To do that, we’d be well-served to follow the model of Jesus: Love the unloved. Take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. Give generously. Share the well with those who invite you. Remember the people who are hurting – help to heal them.
My prayer for today: May I not be so casual as to forget the holiness of God. May I reverence Him fully today, knowing His place as the LORD. With that, may I also realize His desire to commune with us, to bring us near, to converse. The Creator of the Universe calls me, and you, friend.
Blessings upon you and your household.