Theocracy – Exodus 21

From John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible on Exodus 21:

Their government being purely a theocracy; that which in other states is to be settled by human prudence, was directed among them by a divine appointment. These laws are called judgments; because their magistrates were to give judgment according to them.

Life before political parties. How nice is that to think about!? There was no finger-pointing, no political debates, no campaign finance reform, no “drive-by media.” Law came straight from God.

Thinking about this as I read today’s chapter caused me to ask myself several questions:

1) Whose authority am I under?
2) Where did today’s laws come from?
3) Am I under the law?

I was reminded of what we read in Romans 6:

14 Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God’s grace. 15 So since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does this mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you. 18 Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.

For some strange reason, I struggle with the mandatory seat belt law. Last night, I heard on the news that Florida is one of the few remaining states that police can’t pull you over because you aren’t belted in. But, it looks like that’s about to change.

I guess it says a lot about my rebellious nature, but when I get in the car I have to force myself to put on my seat belt. I mean each time I get in the car, it’s like a struggle in my mind – like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. I resent that there is a law that requires me to wear my seat belt and I want to leave it off just as a matter of principle. But, I know that it’s the safe thing to do and there’s no good reason to leave it off. I recruited the help of my 8 year-old daughter, Jesalyn. If she catches me driving the car without my seat belt, I have to give her a quarter. She used to do quite well, but I’m starting to learn.

Bottom line: I must obey man’s laws, or else I’ll suffer the consequences. I must respect the government because God has ordained our local, state and federal government. Laws, then, come from God – not man – because He put them in office.

Do you struggle with any little law like this? Speeding, perhaps?

Any thoughts?


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