When God delivered the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, He was establishing a new nation.
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5-6 NKJV).
The first thing He did was write a moral code for them to follow. We know it as the Ten Commandments.
Why was God compelled to make that His first step?
God knew the heart of mankind was “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV).
That was quickly revealed when God called Moses to meet Him on the mountain.
Moses was gone for forty days and the people became nervous and frightened without his presence to lead them.
Did they seek God in their fear and worry? They did not. They turned to idolatry, drunkenness, sensuous behavior.
“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him… Then they said, ‘This is your god, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar… Then they rose early the next day, offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play… And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves’” (Exodus 32:1-7 NKJV).
God commanded Moses to write everything He spoke to him in a book.
God gave Moses precepts and principles that would show the people how to live by the moral code He had given to them.
There were building codes, health laws, and social laws that would protect them and help them live in communities that were healthy and safe.
The book Moses wrote also showed the people how to live in relationship with Almighty God and how to properly worship Him.
The human heart is ever wandering and seeking to “do its own thing.”
Men and women are insistent upon worshiping God “in their own way.”
Yet, God declares, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV).
God’s Word is a compass for the heart so you can know His ways and it will teach you His thoughts.
When we live by that compass life will be good.
- Families will have healthy relationships.
- Communities are free from violence and crime.
- Men and women are not given to drunkenness and depravity.
- Children are raised in homes with godly parents.
- Deviant and depraved behavior is abhorred and rejected.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV).
God wrote His moral code in stone so the Children of Israel would have it for all generations.
He commanded Moses to write His words in a book so they could learn the precepts and principles of God that would enable them to live out that moral code in everyday life.
God also wanted it in writing so they could teach it to their children and display it in their homes. He wanted it to be as plain as the nose on their face.
God knew the deceitfulness of man’s natural mind.
He knows and understands how the heart of man is self-centered, stubborn and rebellious. Human reasoning and the philosophy of man will not lead the human race to a healthy moral lifestyle.
The moral values of Aristotle and the philosophical writings of Kant, Kierkegaard, and Sartre have led the world to Enlightenment, fatalism and the moral blindness of post-modernity.
Science, medicine, philosophy, education and government cannot give mankind a moral code by which to live.
What basis do they have for determining what is good and what is evil?
Their own mind and reasoning?
They have no framework for making moral judgments.
It is only when the scientists, medical researchers, philosophers, educators, legislators and judges have the Word of God as the foundation and the guiding principle of their life and their work will they be able to provide a moral code for their discipline and for the culture they are shaping.
3 Ways God’s Word Sets the Moral Code for Society
When the natural mind of man and his stubborn self-will suppress the precepts and principles of God’s Word because they go contrary to what they desire and the ambition of their heart, great danger lies ahead.
“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools… who exchanged the truth of God for a lie… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil mindedness…” (Romans 1:21-29 NKJV).
1. God’s Word is the only source of moral code for mankind. It also provides the moral compass for the heart of a person.
The Word of God will show them and teaching them how to live a life of goodness and righteousness.
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways… Oh that my ways were directed to keep your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed when I look into Your commandments… How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word” (Psalm 119:1-6, 9).
2. God’s Word is a cleansing agent that enables a person to transform their life from sinful and immoral living to a life of righteousness and justice.
“Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 1:11 NKJV).
“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and morrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV).
“Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves… But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of it, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:21-25 NKJV).
3. God promised those who love His Word and faithfully walk in it will be blessed and live a bountiful and successful life.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your prosperous and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8 NKJV).
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings for its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV).
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