We find ourselves in the beginning of the world. Adam and Eve, who knew God personally, may have died already. What do we find? Violence, revenge, war, aggression - and people in bondage, even slavery. And this despite God's will that we be kind to each other and enjoy His creation.
How did this transpire then? It is because we could sin with impunity. There was no law. God wanted us to be free and not subject to any laws other than the one forbidding us to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.
But we had eaten of this fruit - we now know what sin and evil is, and we are going to pursue this line for survival, not knowing that it leads to death.
Of course we will not be punished for our sin and evil, other than dying because of it one day. So there is this uneasy peace with God, and it is building up tension between us and God and between us and our fellow men. We were on a path of self-destruction.
One person in scripture had this philosophy:Gen 4:23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. v:24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
And if you think Lamech was vengeful for revenging himself four hundred and ninety times, you forgot Samson who revenged two eyes three thousand times - and this after a life of revenge:Jdg 16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. v:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. v:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
It is easy to see that this is a lose-lose situation. To quote Leo Tolstoi again from his article 'Bethink yourselves':The precipice which we approach is already becoming apparent to us, and the most simple, non-philosophising and uneducated men cannot but see, by arming ourselves more and more against each other and slaughtering each other in war, we, like spiders in a jar, can come to nothing else but the destruction of each other.
We have been facing this possibility now for six thousand years, and we have not yet gotten to grips with it. This time God will not have to destroy us and the earth - we were going to do it ourselves.
The law did thus not come as a surprise. It came to save us from ourselves. Some people think it is a vengeful God who made the law: 'An eye for an eye'. What He in fact said was: 'Only one eye for an eye'. Lamech would have taken four hundred and ninety eyes for the loss of his one eye and Samson three thousand - and still today many of us mimic this attitude on a lower profile and more subtle. Always accusing someone of something.
But the law also had its negative effects. There would be punishment, as we could no longer prosecute sin with impunity. It also meant that we would die, for the wages of sin is death. God had to make a plan to stop our eventual death as well - at a very, very great cost to Himself - His own death in the place of ours.
Did God do a bad thing by giving us the Law?
No - he saved us from destroying ourselves.
No - the Law was perfect - we still use it today voluntarily. Rom 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Will it ever be rescinded?
No - it is for eternity. Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
No - it only became stricter over the years to force us to love our brethren, whilst we may not have that natural inclination to do so. Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: v:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Are we going to be judged according to that law, if we love God and our neighbour?
No - if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit we are free from the Law. Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
When was the Law instituted?
Four hundred and thirty years after the calling of Israel. If we look at this scripture we can tell: Luk 13:16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
How and why should we think about this. Each day in prophecy is one year and eighteen years is 6570 years. We also know that this dispensation is seven thousand years long. Where are the other 430 years? Here it is : Gal 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. This is therefore a reference to the 6570 years Israel was in bondage under the law.
It is not by coincidence that we have to forgive someone who trespasses against us four hundred and ninety times. It was the exact number of times Lamech revenged himself.
It is also not by coincidence that three thousand people were saved the first day the Holy Spirit was poured out. Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. The day the Law as instituted three thousand were killed. Exo 32:28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
And it is not by coincidence that Samson, as a type of the revenge of man, killed three thousand when he collapsed the pillars of the Philistine house of worship.
What is our refuge from the Law then? The Holy Spirit. Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
There are these two covenants or two ways of life which we can choose: Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. v:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. v:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. v:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. v:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
There are just too many facts, truths, prophecies and co-incidental matches in the Bible, that we will have no excuse for not believing it. And the plan of God with man is perfect and loving and generous and considerate - quite the opposite of our plans with each other - and that is why we know it is not from man, but from God and inspired by Him.