Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘law’

Right in Their Own Eyes

King on his throne

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Have you ever reflected on past decisions and said something like, “I did what I thought was best at the time.” There were times in the Old Testament in which the behavior of the people of Israel was summarized in this way, “each did what was right in his own eyes.” On the face of it, trying to do what is right is a noble thing, that is, unless one lives in a culture in which there is no clear standard on which to determine what is right and what is wrong. In the days of the Judges, the statement that everyone did what was right in his own eyes was preceded by “there was no king in Israel.” (Judges 17:6; 21:25)

Let it never be assumed that this nation lacked leadership. Israel was established and led by God through men and women who were assigned the task of counseling that great nation. The spiritual leadership of the people was dutifully provided by the Levite priests. The standard of right and wrong given to the people, the Ten Commandments with the Mosaic Law, was literally written in stone so they knew what was expected from them. The people had all of the elements of civilized governance, but since it was different than the surrounding countries, they petitioned to be ruled by a king. Samuel, a wise and Godly judge, was heartbroken by the demands of the people, but God assured him of what was really happening, “…they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (I Samuel 8:7)

I see this same mentality in people today. According to the American Bible Society, 85% of US households own an average of 4.3 Bibles. The issue of lawlessness is not for lack of information. We live in a land which has rejected God and many people want to do what is right in their own eyes. In conjunction with the DIY moral standards is the only rule written in stone, “Don’t judge me!” Regardless of how blatant the sin, those who have chosen to reject God’s standards refuse to even look into a mirror that shows them the error of their ways.

I am not advocating for Christians to run around pointing out the flaws in the lives of others. Christians need to get back to reading the Bible, draw closer to God in abject humility and clean up our own spiritual houses. The problem here is the same with the problems in Samuel’s day; God’s people rejected Him and in so doing, failed to make any positive impact on the world around them. We have to decide whether we will stand out from the crowd by living Godly lives or continue to reject God and blend in. It is OK to be different!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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Lord of the Harvest

Fruits and veggies

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Reading through the Old Testament books of the Law is an interesting exercise. Since we now live under the grace of God, we sometimes skim over these chapters in much the same way we skim over the genealogies. We would be wise to read very carefully; not because we will be held to all the rules, but because those precepts over time have been proven to be best for humanity’s health and prosperity. Read the ancient laws about personal health, when the Jews lived long, productive lives compared to the filthy habits of the Dark ages, when the life expectancy was barely 30 years. Modern science has confirmed that regular bathing and washing does promote good health.

The Kosher food laws also provided high standards of food preparation and dietary instructions that are still considered to be one of the healthiest ways to eat. Even non-Jews can be assured that Kosher foods represent the highest of quality from beginning to the end of the production process.

Some other interesting laws involved farming. First of all, farmers were forbidden from harvesting every bit of produce from their crops, but were instructed to leave some behind for the poor to glean for food. This was a most compassionate welfare system; the poor still had to do some work for their food, thus maintaining their dignity while nobody went hungry unless they were too lazy to go gather their own food. Families were instructed to care for those among them who were truly unable to care for themselves.

Farmers were also instructed to leave their fields fallow one year out of every seven. It seems unrealistic to not farm for an entire year, but it turns out that even the land needs to rest and by doing so, Israel was ensured abundant harvests all the other years. This is where the concept of crop rotation originated. Sure enough, God was right along!

When we think about God’s laws and principles, remember that God loves us all and wants the best for us. The Bible not only teaches us about God’s love and how to get along with each other; it also shows the way to live the healthiest lifestyle!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

The Loving Lawgiver

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

What is your vision of a perfect world? Most visualize a civilized life where nobody hurts anyone else, where everybody works for the common good, where there is no poverty, crime or injustice. Interestingly, that is the way God made the world to be. He also built free will into that Utopian dream, because He didn’t want us to be robots incapable of love.

The only law at the beginning was that the man and woman were not to eat a certain fruit. Breaking that only rule seemed pretty harmless; after all, the fruit was not even poisonous. The first people who lived in the Garden of Eden chose freely to disobey the only decree, thus creating an unfortunate chain of events that led to the chaos in which we now live.

Many years later, God delivered to the ancient nation of Israel the most perfect set of laws, the Mosaic Law, which included the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). If God’s people followed these laws, they would enjoy a civilization that, while imperfect, could be like Paradise . The interesting thing about The Law is that God knew when He gave them; humanity would be incapable of keeping the laws perfectly. After all, the first couple couldn’t even obey one simple rule!

When asked what was the greatest of all the commandments, Jesus boiled it all down to love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37, 39) Keeping this law of love seems simple enough and will surely make the world a better place.

The key is that you can’t love your neighbor or even yourself until you learn to love God. That is why we are here, learning about God so that we can enjoy a closer relationship with Him and love Him for who He is. After you start loving God, the ability to love others and yourself will come along.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother or four, pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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