Creation • Devotion #5: One Rule
One of my favorite memories growing up was getting to take a spring break trip with my best friend. The day after we got out of school, both of us climbed into his truck and drove straight to Florida. Both of our parents are very involved in our lives, and my parents told me the usual things that you tell your teenage kid (use your head, make good decisions, and other bits of wisdom), but what my friend’s dad said to us has echoed through my whole life since that day. His dad’s only rule was “don’t cause me no grief.” That rule encompassed every other rule within itself; there were no loopholes or ways around it, the only way for us to not cause his dad any grief was to act the same way we would if he were on the trip with us.
At the very beginning of the Bible, after God had finished creating everything, we see Him give one single rule to Adam and Eve. The rule was that they were not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What Adam and Eve did not realize was that the rule encompassed so much more than just eating something that they were told to dismiss. Other than the immediate consequences that are listed in Genesis, the result of the single rule being broken ended in the people of God having six-hundred thirteen commandments. One simple overarching rule turned into six-hundred thirteen complicated rules all apart of what is known as the old covenant or the law.
If you skip forward in the Bible to when Jesus was on the Earth, one of the stories recorded that you will come across is the Pharisees attempting to trick Jesus by asking Him what the greatest commandment was. The confrontation is recorded in Matthew 22:34-40:
“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’”
Just as my friend’s dad encompassed every rule that we had grown up with into one very simple rule, Jesus took six-hundred thirteen rules and simplified them down to two simple yet challenging rules. Jesus not only made a way for us to get to Heaven, but He gave us rules that feel more possible to achieve.