We can go back to where we started with The Israelite and again with David at the beginning of this message and we can connect the dots now.
We had the perfect relationship with God but we wanted more for ourselves and we sinned and we were removed from the garden. Gods grace endured and keeps us in that he maintained personal relationship with us one on one and very intimate and personal and eventually we as a people came to a place where we made simple things more difficult just like the Israelite did in wanting a king and just like David did in wanting to take the temple out of a tent and make it a grand building.
The commandments came written down because we were again taking another step away from God. In other words it was like saying, Instead of coming to you for guidance on everything, cant we just get like a list of things we can handle ourselves and then we can come to you with bigger issues?
The law of God didn’t change we just went from a place of simply obeying God to a place where we expected him to spell out every single rule every idea and every possible contingency.
This may seem counter-intuitive to us cause we have schedules and we write things down so we remember to do them but this is not quite the same things see in all these instance we are talking about from the written law to having an early king to building the temple are all examples where we jumped over the reason and went right tot he action.
Its not always done with bad intentions but we take the simple things God gives us and try to make them more. Let me streamline this for you God. We forget God altogether and go and get to work.
But an action without a reason is an empty action.
How can we verify this whole theory? This whole understanding I have laid before you.
Let us now fast forward to the new testament. The 4 gospels we see over and over the conflict between Jesus and the Phrases because of this exact thing.
Now we didn’t ask for the law to be written down but God saw that this is where we had come to. We were moving further away from God and didn’t even know it.
The problem is when we had that law so clearly defined (an a side note here is that we all know the 10 commandments but traditional Jewish people recognize 613 commandments from the books of Moses. Not just 10. they defined life and almost any situation you can imagine by law.
The people went right to work memorizing it which sounds good but the problem is when you have memorized something you can do it on autopilot. I was speaking with someone recently about the Our Father prayer. Jesus tells his disciples this prayer and its perfect he says pray like this and he is referring more to the proper structure than the specific words. The structure of the our father prayer is a whole sermon unto itself so we will move on for now but the point here is that you can say a perfect prayer like the our father while you’re half asleep you aren’t engaged or involved you are just reciting.
Isaiah 29:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 The Lord says:
people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
In Matthew Jesus says this very thing
Matthew 15:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.
God is speaking in Isaiah and Jesus is speaking in Matthew and in both cases in the old testament and the new God is pointing out the error of jumping over the reason and getting straight to the action
See we started with the perfect relationship with God and over the course of time we moved away from him we started relying on the rule to make us holy. We relied on Kings and rulers to guide us we relied on Grand temples to make us feel like we were giving tribute to God we skipped God all together.
In our rush to make Christianity easy for ourselves to understand we have stepped around the purpose the relationship the real relationship with God and not just a knowledge of his rules or his stories but a knowledge of the God himself. We need to reclaim the reason…