Laws as Vows

511mn5jjn1lNow, the Law is good, and God gives it to His people, but God’s primary purpose in bringing Israel to the mountain is not to give her the Law; it’s to give her Himself. We tend to think of the Ten Commandments as legalistic rules and regulations to keep a distant, uptight God happy. But Israel understood them as wedding vows, commitments of fidelity and devotion, aimed at the flourishing of their life together.

And they’re pretty simple vows:

Don’t cheat on me with other gods.
Remember to rest so we can celebrate life together.
Don’t lie, cheat, murder, or steal.
Let’s live together forever!

— Joshua Ryan Butler, The Pursuing God: A Reckless, Irrational, Obsessed Love That’s Dying to Bring Us Home, 35.


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