We speak often about the need to pay attention to the law of God – and so we should, because it is essential to our being – spiritually and physically.
“Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works … I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart” (Psalm 119:27,32).
This is a timeless observation of how the law and our being are integrated. It is not a casual relationship. To “run” indicates speedily moving in the direction that the commandment indicates we should. There is an air of joy and happiness in being able to do so.
To enlarge is to broaden or open wide the inner being to the intent of that commandment. To understand it more deeply. To have greater insight into the mind of God as expressed by the law.
God’s law will give us hearts that are dominated by the law’s intent. We will see the world in very different terms than the average carnal mind.
As an example, let’s take the current phenomenon of the mass movement of populations across national borders. One estimate is that six million people have migrated to another country in the last year alone. It is also estimated that over two million people have applied for asylum. Allowing for some overlap, that means anywhere between six and eight million migrants.
We are well aware of the tensions this is producing in not a few countries. Germany would be a notable example as they opened their borders to migration and now are struggling with the sheer weight of numbers. An area of concern is religious belief. The newcomers are mostly of differing beliefs and are not accepting of the culture of the host country. Tension and strife are the result.
Standing back from this, what can we see in God’s law that allows us to understand a solution. Granted, we are not in a position to implement the solution yet, but we can still use our “enlarged” minds to understand God’s point of view on the matter. It helps us to have a less emotional response to the problem.
When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He made an allowance for non-Israelites to participate. Obviously, the Israelites would have made friends and formed various relationships with the people they been amongst for hundreds of years.
Just before they left Egypt, God introduced the Passover regulations to Israel. The symbolism of Passover gave understanding to the meaning of their exodus, even though that symbolism means more to us than it did to them at that time. Built into the regulations was the provision for strangers – non-Israelites – to participate in the Passover.
“And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his male be circumcised, and let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells amongst you” (Exodus 12:48-49).
God’s law was the governing law of Israel and if a stranger wanted to dwell in Israel, he was required to live by that law the same way as an Israelite. This law was repeated in Numbers chapter 15. It is not difficult to see that peace and harmony would flow from this approach.
If migrants wanting to live under better conditions in another country were to check their cultural and religious practices at the border, they would be much more able to be absorbed into the host country as contributors to the harmony and peaceful living conditions they all desire to enjoy. But if they demand to retain their citizenship and religion in an enclave situation in the host country, it is only a matter of time before tension and strife build and violence occurs. No one needs to be coerced against their will. It would be a free choice. Most nations have border controls and conditions of entry. And it is not a new concept, as we have seen.
Built into God’s law is the way of peace and living in harmony. We look forward to the time we can initiate these laws.