A new sign went up at our corner. The road in front of our home has at times been used as a shortcut by trucks at unrealistic speeds. It not only damages the chip seal road, but is blatantly unsafe. So, the new sign lowers the speed limit to 30 miles an hour and defines No Through Trucks.
Do legalistic rules keep us from having a good time? Nope. Adhering to rules keeps us from experiencing dire consequences.
Obeying speed limits removes the consequence of paying for a ticket, or causing an accident by speeding. All jurisdictions appreciate this fact and set speed limits accordingly – much lower in school zones, higher on controlled-access highways.
Speed limits keep drivers who enjoy the exhilaration, the adrenaline rush of living on the edge of fear from doing so, and those of us who do not, also from living on the edge of fearing them. Society expects adherence to speed limits, requiring payment for non-compliance. We put a value on our lives.
There are age limits on marriage in our country, varying from state to state, setting realistic hopes that the couple is sufficiently mature to understand the commitment. Yet under-age children become parents, never becoming families. Society accepts this lack of adherence, and the resulting consequences, often a lack of educational opportunities, needs for social worker assistance, a lack of trust of the opposite sex and the emotional health of a child.
The Bible does not discuss either of these limitations, though marriage and responsibilities to one’s spouse is discussed in depth, as is the responsibilities of parents to children and vice versa.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7 KJV)
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:8-9 KJV)
While the Bible is full of rules and examples, our Lord brought them down to their essence:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
Get that one right and this next one becomes second nature
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)
Disobedience to laws brings unwanted attention as the lawbreaker focus solely on self. Compliance with laws brings others into focus and appreciation for those around us. The old Sunday School adage of how to achieve JOY comes to mind: