The Law was given by God to the nation of Israel as a picture of righteousness, but more so, to reveal their inadequacy to live up to the Law, “for all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them’” (Galatians 3:10). And, of course, they didn’t and we won’t, either.
With the Law, we are like a city dog. Lucy, our basset hound, stays indoors and sleeps in a kennel in the corner of my office. Lucy is a city dog and she does not roam free. She is not allowed to. However, when every so often a door is open, unwatched, Lucy breaks for freedom and does not return. Not even at night. We call for her and search for her, but usually a neighbor phones to tell us they found her several blocks away. Lucy obeys our rules, until she thinks we are not looking.
Paul says the Law doesn’t make us righteous, rather, “the righteous shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:12), and faith comes through freedom. Freedom is the life of the country dog. My cousin lives in the country. Tramp, his yellow Labrador, is free to roam, and he does. Wherever he wants, whenever he wants, doing whatever he wants. Tramp is a country dog. Sometimes he leaves in the morning and returns at night. But return he does, every night. Tramp can sleep anywhere he wants, and he does–on the front porch. That’s where he wants to be; he is happy to be home. “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (Psalm 27:4).
Father God, You have set me free from the burden and bondage of sin. Thank You so much! I am now enslaved to love, a willing servant of Your goodness and grace. Forgive me, God, when I turn my liberty into a religion of do’s and don’ts, or I turn my freedom into a license to sin.
I love You, God, not from force or fear, but because I desire You so much. I follow You, because this is where I find life, a life abundant and good. With You, I am at home.