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858. The Wisdom of the Law

This article addresses how believers today can gain the wisdom of the Law while under grace.

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

In Deuteronomy 4 we find Moses addressing those who had survived the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.Moses instructs Israelites They were about to cross the Jordan and enter the Land of Promise, but Moses had to reiterate all that the Lord had instructed him regarding the people and nation of Israel since those who heard it the first time were dead. If the survivors didn’t learn and understand all that God had said and done, the past forty years would have been for nothing.

Moses reminds them of the Lord’s statutes and judgments he had taught them to guide them in their new home across the river. He exhorts them to obey these statutes and to teach them to the people now living there so they will say that the people of Israel are wise and understanding. Then he says:

“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?   

When we think of the Mosaic Law, we often think of how the Pharisees turned it into an unbearable burden, but that’s not why God gave it to Israel. He gave it to distinguish the Israelites from all the other nations by making her wise, great, and pleasing to Him.

 AS I SEE IT

law vs graceFor Christians, this poses a dilemma. We know that we are not under the Law but under grace, but if the Law would make its adherents wise and provide understanding, shouldn’t we be following it? Well, we’re also told that the law set the standard but offered no power to keep it. We’re also told that it has been set aside because it was weak and useless (for the Law made nothing perfect), and a better hope has been introduced by which we draw near to God (see Heb. 7:18-19).

So where does this leave us? Romans 8:4 provides the answer. It says that we keep the righteous requirements of the Law when we walk in the Spirit. How liberating! Since Christ came to fulfill the Law, and He lives in us via the Holy Spirit, we fulfill the Law by allowing Christ to live out His life through us as we walk in the Spirit, denying the flesh.

We wanted the wisdom and understanding the Law offered, and now it is readily available. If all wisdom, along withwisdom everything else, has been given to Christ, and we have the mind of Christ, the wisdom and understanding we desire is right there, but we have to tap into it. How do we do that? By walking in the Spirit. How do we walk in the Spirit? By surrendering our will to God. By wanting what He wants, seeing the world through His eyes instead of our own, and by revisiting the first and the greatest commandment—to love the Lord our God will all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength.

Forget the rule keeping. Forget the measuring up. Just love God above all else. The wisdom we desire will follow and people will notice. We will have an open door to share how we came to be so wise.

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