They’re Not Just a Bunch of Rules
By W. L. Hughen
God's laws are not just a bunch of rules He imposes upon us to satisfy His whims. The "do's" and "don't's" of God are provided to us because of His loving heart. They are given to us as guidelines to enable us to know how to live in order to get the best out of life. It would be unfair for God to create us, and then not tell us how to live in order to get the fullest benefits from the life He has given us.
When we were growing up, our parents gave us many rules to live by to protect us from bodily harm, and keep us in good health. They constantly told us "Don't play in the street!" "Brush your teeth!" "Take a bath daily!" and hundreds of other things. Why did they tell us these things? Because they loved us and wanted us to get the best out of life. So too, God has given us some instructions that, if followed, will give us a better chance of living a long, happy and abundant life. It is He who created us. Who better can tell us how to live?
God's laws were not given just to the Jew or Christian, but for the entire human race. Imagine what this world would be like if every person on earth applied these instructions of God. No more lying! No more stealing! No more adultery! No more killing! Love would be in every heart! No more hate! No more wars! It would be heaven on earth. How can the Supreme Court of the United States, or anyone else, oppose the posting of this document in court houses, school houses, or any other place?
Nothing would change America and the whole world more than indoctrinating every citizen with the words of the Ten Commandments. It should be posted in every classroom and be a requirement to be memorized and recited daily by every student.
The Commandments do not encourage people to be a Christian, or Jew. Neither does it say anything about joining a church or belonging to any particular faith. In fact, it doesn't even mention faith at all. It acknowledges God, and most sane people already do that. In the United States it is certainly true that we, as a nation, already acknowledge God as our creator, and even declare on our money, "In God we trust."
Why did we not rise up in righteous indignation and fervent protest when the Supreme Court of the United States began to strip the Ten Commandments from our schools and courthouses?
For over two hundred years these laws have been the foundation of our society. They have kept in check and bridled most of our unholy passions, lust and evil intentions. Now that the bridle is being removed, we are beginning to suffer the consequences.
America! Open your eyes! Look at all the rape, murder, lying, cheating, illicit sex, drug addiction, and fraud that is going on in our public schools, business circles, and even our government. Listen to the radio and the TV. Read it in the newspapers. We are fast becoming a corrupt nation, and pain and destruction will be the consequences.
I do not see this as a judgment of God. He created the universe to operate under specific and consistent laws. The whole world would be in chaos if we did not have laws that determine how everything works. God gave the Ten Commandments for all human beings. They are simply the laws of human living. If we violate these laws we will suffer the consequences. If I steal or commit murder, sooner or later I will suffer. That's the way it goes.
When we buy a machine or mechanical device, we absolutely must follow the directions of the maker or it will be of little value. When we understand this, why then can we not teach all people that life is best if they follow the instructions of their Maker?
Someone has well said, "We don't break God's laws ... they break us!
Who among us can say that their life has been damaged by the Ten Commandments?
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath...
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain...
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy...
Honor your father and your mother...
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife...nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
(Exodus 20:3-17 NKJV)
Which one of the above would you strike out? Which one would you choose for your children not to practice?
W.L. Hughen was born and reared in northwest Florida. He was graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University and served as Minister of Music in several churches in Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma. He sang for countless revivals, conferences, meetings, radio and TV shows. He reached the top of his field and was well known among Southern Baptist Churches everywhere. He is now retired and lives near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. You may contact him through the Letters page of this magazine.