We are currently reading this fantastic book aloud. It was written by a renowned surgeon and a best-selling Christian author, who combine their gifts to give us a glorious view of how God's design for the human body "bears the impress of a still deeper, unseen reality." This book defies category, but it proves an inspiring volume for devotional reading. Wonderful, wonderful.
The title comes from Psalm 139.
The following is one of the most thought-provoking passages we've read yet this year, in this or any book. I believe you'll be glad you read it.
Moral law. The Ten Commandments. Obedience. Doing right. A "thou shalt not" negativism taints the words, and we tend to view them as opposites to freedom. As a young Christian, I cringed at such words. But later, especially after I became a father, I started thinking beyond my reflex reaction to the very nature of law. Are not laws essentially a description of reality by the One who created it? His rules governing human behavior -- are they not guidelines meant to enable us to live the very best, most fulfilling life on earth?
I do not slip easily into such reasoning. Laws are too encrusted with cultural barnacles that obscure their true essence. They can summon up in me deeply embedded memories of parental disapproval, and instead I crave another kind of freedom -- freedom from law, not freedom by it.
I have discovered, however, that it is possible to see beyond the surface negativism of, for example, the Ten Commandments and to learn something of the true nature of laws. Rules soon seem as liberating in social activity as bones are in physical activity.
The first four of the Ten Commandments are rules governing a person's relationship to God Himself: Have no other gods before Me. Don't worship idols. Dont misuse My name. Remember the day set aside to worship Me. As I contemplate these once-forbidding commandments, more and more they sound like positive affirmations.
What if God had stated the same principles this way:
I love you so much that I will give you Myself. I am true reality, the only God you will ever need. In Me alone will you find wholeness.
I desire a wonderful thing: a direct, personal relationship between Myself and each of you. You don't need inferior representations of Me, such as dead wooden idols. You can have Me. Value that.
I love you so much that I have given you My name. You will be known as "God's people" on the earth. Value the privilege; don't misuse it by profaning your new name or by not living up to it.
I have given you a beautiful world to work in, play in, and enjoy. In your involvement, though, set aside a day to remember where the world came from. Your bodies need the rest; your spirits need the reminder.
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Isn't that good food for thought? Tomorrow I will post the next section, on the remaining six commandments.