To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Despite the teaching of the day that everything is relative, there are no moral absolutes, and that you can establish your own values so long as they don’t hurt anybody else is a lot of Crockatoa East of Java.
I try to refrain from political arguments in these devotionals, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Our focus text demands it. God wants His people to do right, and He places a high priority on our behavior. God views right conduct as “more acceptable…than sacrifice.”
With God there is right and wrong. He has established boundaries to maintain order and for our protection.
Because of the work of Christ, we are no longer under the law nor its penalty. But we are under the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21), which we abide by out of surrender and love. We obey, not because we are forced, but because we are compelled out of allegiance to the King.
When I studied music, there were countless rules that had to be followed. Even in free-form styles of music, like jazz, the rules still apply. For those who love the craft, following those rules isn’t forced labor but a choice made willingly and freely. We love making good music, therefor abiding by the rules comes naturally.
All educational, vocational, and arts disciplines have rules. I find it somewhat humorous that professors in institutions of higher learning promote moral relativity, that there are no moral absolutes, just a lot of gray areas. But within their educational disciplines there are rules and more rules. Break or fail to learn their rules and you flunk their exams. So they really do believe in right and wrong. I know that because of those dreadful red marks that often appeared on my papers. Of course, it’s been a while since I attended college. Maybe now they’re using gray markers.
My wife, the artist, gets frustrated when she overlooks a basic rule of painting or drawing. Art has so many rules, it’s easy to miss something. As a result, she brings her work with her and props it on the living room coffee table. Then, while resting in her recliner, she studies her painting and considers how she can make it better. And usually, if there is a flaw on the canvas, it’s because she missed a rule. Moments later, she rushes back to her studio and fixes her mistake.
That’s a good example of the way we work on our walk with God. Yes, indeed. There are a lot of rules. So we take time to sit back and look at our performances and God points out things we can do to improve. Sometimes, our conduct has been thrown off course because we have failed to follow one or more of God’s rules. Once God has helped us identify the error of our ways, we confess our sin, ask for His enablement to get it right, and get back on course, always motivated out of love and a desire to please Him.
Rules are all around us. They instruct, guide, and protect. Follow the rules and life goes better. Break them and there are consequences. Right and wrong are our rules of order in all aspects of life.
You are no more the author of your moral value code than your television instruction manual. Somebody else wrote the book and if you’re going to get the most out of either, you have got to abide by the rules of order.
God wrote the book on right and wrong. His word is the supreme code of moral values. But we don’t follow it because we have to. We do our best to follow His instructions because we love the One who saved us. And nothing pleases us more than to please Him. We know that “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Right and wrong still matter.
For more on this topic, check out this article: With Christian Freedom Comes Responsibility
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.