The Majestic Purpose
Understand the expansive and magnificent vision embedded within God’s law.

Cast your imagination back to when only God and the Word existed. These two Beings lived a perfect way of life throughout eternity. “The character of both God the Father and Christ the Son is that of spiritual holiness, righteousness and absolute perfection,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages. “That character might be summed up in the one word love, defined as an outflowing, loving concern. It is the way of giving, serving, helping, sharing, not the ‘get’ way.… God’s inherent nature is the way of peace, of justice, mercy, happiness and joy radiating outward toward those He has created!”

“The Word and God lived,” he continued. “God loved the Word. And the Word loved God—obeyed Him completely.… They were in total agreement and cooperation.… Their way of life produced perfect peace, cooperation, happiness, accomplishment. This way of life became a law. Law is a code of conduct, or relationship, between two or more” (emphasis added throughout).

God’s spiritual law of love has a majestic history in the mists of eternity. It predated the physical creation. God has applied that law in various specific forms throughout history. While some of these have only pertained to a limited period or for certain circumstances, they have all sprung out of the basic principle of God’s law, which has always been there.

What God has codified for us in the specifics of the law we possess in Scripture is simply an expression of His perfect way of life in a form that makes sense for human beings.

God gave us His law for many, many reasons. At their root, though, they all trace back to one basic, beautiful truth: that God wants to bring man into His Family, and He is teaching us how to be like Him. That law represents God’s effort to spell out His way of life, the way of love.

When you realize this, you see the magnificent link between God’s law and the God Family vision—God’s master plan and the incredible human potential.

A Law of Light and Life

At the time that God created the angels, His eternal spiritual law was active and binding. God and the Word instructed the angels in it, and the angels all kept it—living the way of serving, giving and sharing, the way of peace, cooperation, happiness and accomplishment.

When God created the physical universe, He also put in place the physical laws—laws of astounding order and precision that define and regulate energy and matter. Read Psalm 19:1-3 to see how the physical creation speaks of the presence of a lawgiver.

Surely God used the intricacies of the physical creation to reinforce to the angels the importance of law. Just as matter must operate in conjunction with physical law in order to maintain balance and order, thinking beings with free moral agency must obey God’s spiritual law. Notice the link David makes between the physical law and the spiritual law in verses 7-9. The same mind that created the physical laws that masterfully govern the entire physical realm also made the moral, civil and religious laws spelled out in Scripture. As James 4:12 tells us, “There is one lawgiver.”

David recognized that just as the countless components of creation can work together in harmony in accordance with the law of God, so can we become wise, converted, enlightened, clean and filled will joy and peace when we keep God’s spiritual law.

When we obey that law in its full spiritual intent, then we enjoy the same blessings that God and the Word have enjoyed forever: radiant peace, happiness and joy. That is what God wants to share with us.

Not only does following God’s law produce natural positive results, but God also sweetens the deal by promising additional, supernatural blessings to those who obey it. Read Deuteronomy 30:8-10.
God is a Family, and His law is a family law. He is a parent, telling us, Follow me, and follow this law. Do things the way I do them, and turn your whole heart to me—because I yearn to bless you!

Read the beautiful statement recorded in verses 11-14. Don’t let anyone dismiss the law of God for being too complex to understand. God doesn’t hide His law from us. He makes it totally plain! It is not far off; it is close to you—in your mouth, in your heart—so you may do it! The fact that the law is plain and clear for us shows how much God loves us!

The word law in verse 10 comes from the Hebrew towrah, or torah. This, in turn, is derived from the Hebrew word meaning light or shine. The form of the word used here means “to cause to see the light.” That is what God’s law does for us! It shows us God’s light.

In addition, the Hebrew word tor means course or order. God’s torah is like a course of instruction, or a curriculum. A teacher who wants to help a student progress from the end of grade one to the beginning of grade three would use the grade two curriculum. Likewise, God, in order to help us progress from carnal thinking to God-level thinking, uses the curriculum of His law.

For us to become God, we must know the right way. But of course, knowledge alone doesn’t turn someone into God. That is fundamentally a matter of character. The great Creator has perfect, righteous character, having voluntarily chosen to avoid evil and to do good. And that is the choice God sets before us—by giving us the revelation of His law. Read verses 15-18.

Remember, these words were spoken by the elder statesman, Moses, when he was 120 years old. Besides Joshua and Caleb, he was the last remaining man from the generation that had been delivered from Egypt. He was instructing the young generation of Israelites—the oldest of whom would have been merely half his age—just before they gained the Promised Land. The book of Deuteronomy is essentially three sermons he gave at the end of his life emphasizing the most important things they needed to remember in entering the Promised Land. And what did he talk about? The law—the lawthe law! He underscored how all of God’s wonderful commandments, statutes and judgments lead to life!

Meditate on the beauty of verses 19-20.

“God’s law contains statutes for regulating all the activities of modern life,” said the Good News magazine in July 1967: “commerce, labor relations, legislation, farming, land tenure, international affairs, finance, sex and marriage, warfare, state and religious ceremonies, politics and government.

“This perfect law forms the basis of all human relationships, as well as man’s relationship toward God. It provides the basic general rules affecting every phase of man’s life. God’s law protects a man’s life, property, character and reputation. It sets the rules for successful agriculture, for safe sanitation, for public health, and for international peace. …

“Since the family is the building stone of the nation, there are commandments and statutes for the purpose of protecting family life. A man’s relationship to his parents, wife and children is governed by laws designed to preserve the blessed sanctity and dignity of the home.

“There are statutes in God’s law dealing with next-door neighbors and friends. Civil relationships are dealt with respecting murder, larceny (theft), adultery and perjury. There are many statutes governing economic and social life.

“God’s law is complete. … It contains, in brief summation-principle, all the positive and negative obligations of the perfect, rightly balanced life. It expresses and reflects the very character of God!”

An Example to the Nations

God’s eternal law of love is spiritual (Romans 7:14). Still, even obeying the particulars of the letter of the law as God gave it to the carnal, physical nation of Israel will bring untold blessings. Read Moses’s promise to the people of physical Israel in Deuteronomy 4:5-8 if they were to follow God’s “statutes and judgments” in the letter.

Even an unconverted nation that keeps these civil and moral laws would have tremendous influence among other nations. Any observer would be able to recognize its vast superiority to other societies. That nation would function smoothly; prosperity would increase; everyone would be provided for; families would remain strong; people would be organized, happy and fulfilled; all would coexist in harmony.

And the only foundational difference would be the law! What a dramatic gulf separates a society languishing under flawed man-made laws from one governed by the one true Lawgiver!

The law of God truly set the nation of Israel apart. “This code of laws was a boundary separating Israel from all other peoples, placing them in strongest contrast to other peoples,” explains Lange’s Commentary. Likewise, it is the truth of God that sanctifies the people of God today, setting us apart from the world. As Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth.”

But God’s law does more than merely separate His people. A people obeying God’s law provides surrounding peoples a practical example—a model—that draws the world to God!

What a magnificent purpose embedded within God’s law!

This is what God wanted to achieve with ancient Israel: to demonstrate to all nations just how perfect His law—His way of life—really is, by letting them see it in action!

Capture the beauty in how this links to exactly what God is doing on a broad scale in His master plan. He is training a small group of elite teachers in His way of life—getting it to work properly within that spiritual nation of Israel—so they will set an example for others. In the process, He is preparing those individuals to enter His eternal Family and actually become God, at which point they will be able to teach all other peoples directly!

In the end, God will have a rich, abundant and massive Family of God beings, all sharing in the unparalleled blessings of living the very way of love that God and the Word enjoyed for a prior eternity!

This is the great vision that we would do well to keep in mind always as we study the perfect law of God!