I Fought the Law

Three constraints govern our lives.  We live in a world incessantly seeking absolute freedom from limitations, but limitations remain and will always be part of our existence.  In fact, there is no one espousing any freedom that does not also believe in at least one limitation as a counterbalance.  Each adjudication is a limit on some type of liberty, and every statute is a legislation of someone’s morality.  This point is really understood by all but ignorance is feigned whenever the wall of containment is seen as too confining.  In truth there is no such thing as absolute freedom, and it is precisely the rules that give meaning to the game.  At any rate, we find ourselves subject to governance on different fronts.

We are all subject to rules.  These stipulations address different areas of our lives in limited ways.  For instance, there are certain rules that address behavior in the workplace but are not applicable in other areas of life.  You don’t adhere to the office dress code when working in the back yard.  In general, these guidelines are set to facilitate particular endeavors and failure to adhere brings consequences within the applicable realm.  A person could get into trouble on the job or be fired but not necessarily jailed for the offense.  There are violations of military protocols that may carry stiff penalties but only for those so employed.  Rules are generally   applicable within certain bounds and not others.

All people are subject to laws.  As with rules, these guidelines may differ in application, but they carry elements of retribution enforceable in greater and more expansive ways.  Rule-breaking can incur legal penalties but is not necessarily criminal.  Law-breaking is seen as a governmental thing- an affront to society.  This is not to say that all laws are ethical or right, only to make the designation more clear.  To disregard a law is more serious than to set aside a rule though both are intended to set parameters for compliance.  The Bible tells us that, in general, laws (rulers) are a terror to evil deeds and a confirmation of good.  Civil and criminal regulations undergo change from time to time, and they are not the highest regard.

None of us can preempt reality.  It’s just the way things are.  Rules are only applicable in certain spheres.  They may or may not conform to the universal standard.  Law has its place but is not necessarily the final word on right and wrong.  Reality is beyond human contrivances and bows to no one.  It can be cruel and is no respecter of persons.  We will strive in vain to redress our wrongs when confronted with the cold rewards of our deeds.  In the end, reality is more in line with divine retribution than either laws or rules.  At the same time, the current reality is influenced by the fall of man and each person’s individual sinfulness.  As with all things bound to the temporal plane, it may not be reflective of perfection.       

It is beyond the wisdom of man alone to develop an incontrovertible standard for compliance.  Yet, it is in the plan of God (for the most part) to allow the world to function under human directives.  Deviance from the revealed will of God through His Word has created all manner of confusion in the present age.  In truth, reality itself is influenced by this rebellion.  When men regard the wisdom of God as superior to their inclinations, society will function more correctly.  As with all things touched by sin, even then, it will not attain bliss.  Only in eternity, when the reality of the final state is felt, will truth be clearly seen.  In that time, all human imaginings will be seen for what they are and the law of God ultimately win.

Sterl

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