June 1: Love and the Law

Read Romans 13:8-14

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (v. 8).

Did you know that the Ten Commandments are actually a small but very prominent part of a total of 613 commandments in what is called the “Law”? These Ten were written by the finger of God on tablets of stone. Twice. Remember? Moses threw the first tablets to the ground in frustration as he saw that the Israelites had constructed a golden calf representing the One who had led them out of Egypt. The tablets were broken. God replaced those two tablets.

We know the content on the two sets of tablets was the same. Both started with “no other gods,” and both ended with “don’t covet.” We don’t know specifically which commandments were written on either of the two tablets. In spite of our uncertainty, theologians often divide the Ten into two major categories, and sometimes refer to the two tablets accordingly. The breakdown might look something like this:

Ten commandments

Do you see what it is that the commandments on the first tablet have in common? They have a vertical focus and correspond with our relationship to God. Meanwhile, do you see what the commandments on the second tablet have in common? They have a horizontal focus and correspond with our relationship to others.

This categorized glimpse at the Ten Commandments also enables us to understand Christ’s reference to the Great Commandment. Remember what He said? “Love God…” (a good summary of the first tablet) and “Love your neighbor…” (a good summary of the second tablet).

Paul makes that clear as well in Romans 13. When we love others, we really are fulfilling a significant part of God’s plan for us. As you love others today, you are expressing something very close to the heart of God!

sbk

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