When I read that book Misunderstanding God by D. Hufford), I began to think about how hard it is for us to “let go” of the “false teachings” of our past, and how we maybe “fight back” instead of learning to just rest in the adventure of Your love. I know I do that, too… In some people, for example, that might come out as anger at those who passed on “false teaching,” even if they truly believed those teachings were true…. In my case, I think it comes out as failure to completely trust You: continued insecurity, I suppose… (Thanks for that little revelation about myself just now! – Or perhaps it is really a big revelation, eh! Oh Father, why am I letting myself feel insecure in Your love? YOU DON’T FAIL!!! You don’t hold Yourself back in crucial areas (like we do hold back, as humans, even to those, maybe particularly to those, we claim to most love)… You don’t make Your Love dependent on anything I do. You don’t get disappointed in me. You are never too busy for me. You don’t love others more than You love me. You don’t hold me up to a long list of rules and regulations….
(I was just wondering why You did that – all those rules and regulations, that complicated “Law” – to the people of Israel… to all mankind before Jesus came and dwelt among us… but I suppose that really, by choosing to walk, to live independent of You, they, if they wanted “righteousness and goodness” in their lives – which You had created them for, making them in Your image, You are ARE GOODNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESSS – the only way, in separation from You, to achieve some sense of goodness – a sad mockery of it, actually – was to strive to achieve it through following rules and regulations that more or less served to avoid at least the “appearance of evil” – because, boy oh boy, they sure aren’t much help when it comes to the evil thoughts and attitudes of the heart… which can be hidden for a time, with enough effort, but can never be overcome with our own efforts.
So in that sense, I guess You did “give the Law” to make us realize how futile our efforts are – so that we, when we encounter Your Son, will recognize the wonder of Your love, and long for it, and joyfully accept it! Because when we truly accept You, we are accepting Love, Life, Truth, Goodness, Justice, Mercy, Grace! And all of those aspects of You ARE Good, they are all Love! And yes, they do require “submission” and “giving ourselves to You completely” … giving away to You all that would “come between” us and Your perfect, wonderful Love. I guess kind of like if we were homeless, and suddenly we legally inherited a great, beautiful estate, with everything provided including endless resources to keep it going and growing… but we chose to continue to wear our dirty old rags, and refused to move into the mansion because we thought it was too beautiful and we didn’t want to dirty it (because we wouldn’t give up those dirty rags, or because we felt we “didn’t deserve it” or “hadn’t earned it” or whatever), so we only agreed to live in the dog house or the garden shed or whatever, at the farthest edge of the estate… and we wouldn’t even allow the servants to come in and clean us up a corner or bring us a plate of the good food from the feast prepared at the mansion! Oh my goodness! Thank You for the very clear picture, Father!