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Rules & Investigation

18 May

Introduction:

In today’s world people want to be free. They do not want to follow any rules but be allowed to do as they please. In Korea, when it comes to driving on the roads, we have a saying ‘there are rules but there are no rules’ In other words you get to drive as you please and that mentality leads to some very interesting situations on the Korean roads.

When we were living in Davao City our upstairs neighbor was constantly bombarding us with her loud ways and in a meeting with our landlord she stated [‘I need to be free’ well her need to be free meant that everyone else had to suffer as they were not granted freedom from her ways.

Freedom is not ‘do what I want when I want’ , That is anarchy and when anarchy takes place then you no longer have a safe society for no one is following the rules. Everyone is doing what they want to do and some of those actions could lead to physical harm to other people.

Anarchy is chaos and that is what you have when no one follows the rules and does as they please. Chaos and anarchy to not construct a good civilization but tears it down and leaves it weak & vulnerable to attack from one’s enemies.

True freedom has rules for everyone to follow and they are just and fair rules or other problems arise in societies where some get favored treatment while others do not.  Rules exist for a reason

#I. The Reasons for Rules:

There are two main reasons for the existence of rules.

First, we read in

Dt 4:10 Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn  to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach  them to their children

Rules help us to revere God. They bring to us the correct attitude we need in order to have the correct perspective of who God is. Rules keep us humble and let us know where we are in the order of life. We are not the supreme being but follow the one who is.

The second reason we have rules is:

2Ch 6:27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance

We need to know how we are to live. We need to know what is right and what is wrong. Without rules nothing is wrong and we can live as we please but as we have seen no rules mean a bad and dangerous society.

God has rules for us and we see that he established those rules in the beginning when he said:

15Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

we also know that God gave rules to Adam and his family because God punished Cain for his evil deed.

13And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear!

14Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”

If there were no rules God could not punish Cain nor eventually the pre-flood world.

This brings us to the second point on rules:

#II. Rules, Righteousness and Discipline

With the establishment of rules comes the establishment of discipline and punishment for the rule breakers. As we just saw, Cain was punished for his violation of God’s rules. Those who obey the rules are called righteous and they do not get punished for they have done nothing wrong.

As we see in the story of the flood, Noah was a righteous man and he and his family were saved but those who broke God’s rules were not. They were punished for their evil deeds.

Those who obey God have nothing to fear as they will not be punished nor disciplined but it is those who violate God’s laws that do have something to be afraid of. The punishment must be just, fair and fit the crime committed. It cannot be arbitrary nor adjusted to fit our personal preferences.

Then when someone has to determine what punishment is to be given he cannot do so until he has done the following:

Deuteronomy 13:14

then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you,

Deuteronomy 19:18

The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,

‘18And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother,

19then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

20And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.’

What do these passages actually tell us?

First, we do not take just anybody’s word that a crime has been committed.

Second, there must be real evidence supporting the accusation or charge

Third, the number of witnesses against the person is not evidence of a crime. If they bring accusations but no evidence then there is no crime.

Notice the key words in those passages of scripture: ‘search out’, ‘inquire thoroughly’, ‘investigate thoroughly’ and ‘careful inquiry’. In other words we cannot be lazy nor does circumstantial evidence replace careful inquiry. We get the real evidence and make sure the disobedience/crime actually took place

Esther 2:23

Now when the plot was investigated and found to be so, they were both hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence.

We do not punish or discipline innocent people nor do we over punish the guilty. The correct punishment is to bring rule breaker to repentance. This means that we do not punish for the sake of punishment, for revenge or anything that may be considered sinful. We remain righteous in our action of disciplining people for the rules they have broken.

We do not sin in correcting sin. We make sure the accused is actually guilty and then bring about just punishment.

Then notice what is to be done to those who bear false witness against another person:

 if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother,

19then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

Lying about someone else is evil and it is wrong and it is violating God’s rules and those that lie are to be punished. The verse tells us the punishment that is to be handed out to those who falsely accuse another person.

This punishment and rule is valid even when there are 20 or more people falsely giving testimony about another person.

#III. Why Do We Obey The Rules:

We obey the rules to show our love. Jesus said

Jn 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.

and

Lk 6:46 Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say

Keeping the rules shows our love for God, for Jesus and to our parents and country. Children if you want to demonstrate your love for your parents then you keep the verse, children obey your parents.

Obedience is an act of love. That is why we obey God’s rules. We show both God and the unchurched world that we love the God we say we follow. Obedience is a witness and a light unto a dark and sinful world.

We do what is right in order to show those who have not been taught God’s rules that there is a better way to live. A way that is fair, just and safer than the way they are living right now.

We do not always have to give a gospel message to the unbeliever for our behavior and words will show that the gospel is true and that Jesus is alive and cares for them as well.

Conclusion:

In the west it is often stated that ‘rules were meant to be broken’. Well that sentiment is not true and God’s rules are not meant to be broken. Throughout the OT we see examples of how God punishes those who breaks his rules.

From Adam to Cain to the people of Israel we see God taking a firm hand and making sure that the people stay on the straight and narrow. Jesus reinforces God’s example with the following words:

Mt 5:19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Notice the words ‘teaches others to do the same…’ God takes a dim view of those who lead others to violate his rules. They are not to be praised or respected or held in high esteem but rebuked fir encouraging others to sin and disobey God.

Rules are important for they guide us in the way that we should walk. They allow us to know right and wrong, morality and immorality, and what is good and evil and then keep us from those things that are wrong, immoral and evil. As we see by God’s multitude of examples, wrong, immoral and evil do not enter God’s kingdom nor are rewarded.

We need to choose to follow God’s rules if we want to prosper and be successful but one word of warning–we do not blindly obey all the rules set before us. For if some rule makes us disobey God’s rules then we cannot follow those instructions. We have to make sure that those rules made by society or other people actually make us violate God’s word and commands before we refuse to obey them.

We do not arbitrarily decide that they do. Such laziness leads us to sin as well and that is not what God wants us to do. Rules help us meet the command ‘be ye holy for I am holy’. They do not exist to oppress us or keep us from freedom. In fact rules help us to be free and have a good life.

Let us pray…

 

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, General Life, Justice, leadership, theology

 

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