The older I get the more I hate rules. They are made out of a necessity to control. For instance, it’s the overeater like me who needs dietary restrictions. It’s also the unruly child or unruly class who needs rules to govern them. Then when rules are made, they have to be enforced, and consequences set for breaking them. Freedom is lost. The best days I have spent with my family were no rules days. We just went through our day enjoying each other’s company.
I think that’s how it was in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had a wonderful relationship with God, until Satan came and questioned God’s reign in their lives. They didn’t need to eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, because they knew God. Many more years passed before the Ten Commandments were written, long after the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Then God saw what a difficult time Moses was having leading Israel, and the commandments were written, and God became known as the Rule Maker. It became a huge part of man’s story with him. However, the three items God later had placed in the Ark of the Covenant: Aaron’s budding staff, some manna, and a scroll show his complexity. These items displayed different facets of God’s character as our guide, our provider, and our teacher. When Jesus came, his story telling showed us anew what a great teacher he truly is –so much more than just a Rule Maker.
Jesus invites us, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “ (Matthew 11:29)
Do you have a rule to which you restlessly adhere? Have you listened to God’s voice, asking you to replace that yoke with a relationship with him? Is he asking you to trust him to guide and provide for your life as he teaches you, and to lay down the burden of enforcing some rule in your life with the wonder of knowing him? I know I have heard this call. The freedom we find as we respond to his invitation is the better way and the reason Christ died.