We Can Raise the Bar

We sometimes let our hearts rule our heads as we face the many moral dilemmas of our day. Sometimes we operate out of well-meaning but misplaced compassion. We then set ourselves up as standards of right and wrong based on our feelings.


There is a standard of right and wrong to which we may turn. I would argue, as I believe our Founders would have, that the word of God is that standard. Our unchanging God of Hebrews 13:8 has given us His unchanging word for our benefit. Psalm 18:28-30 (NKJV) reads:

28 For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
30 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.


And, consider Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV):

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.


The Bible is sort of an “owner’s manual.” God created us and knows us. He understands what we need to keep our “engines running smoothly.” That includes all three aspects of the physical, emotional, and spiritual. He lays all of this out for us in scripture.


People who were living before God called and equipped His nation were actually living a pretty bleak existence. God sent the nation of Israel on the scene with 613 commands to regulated their lives, personally, as a family, religiously, and civically as a nation. He gave them laws that were contrary to anything of this world such as being a moral people. The other nations practiced all manner of immoral behaviors based on their worship of idols and demons, as well as their own appetites.


God knew these activities would be destructive to the well-being of His creation. So, He set a model for us first in the nation of Israel. Isaiah 2:2 (NKJV) seems to indicate this:

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.


He also gave us an even more personal example in Jesus. He said that He came to be a contrast to the great adversary. Notice John 10:10 (NKJV):

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


God, through His word has answers to our issues. Sometimes God spells it out clearly in “black and white” as in the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20. Sometimes He gives us principles to apply like Leviticus 19:15 (NKJV):

15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.


This is a picture of God’s principle of justice. In other places He gives specifics. But here is the principle to live by.


Notice the importance of the “rule of law” (specifically the Torah of God) in 1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NKJV):

But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.


In his Farewell Address in 1796, President George Washington identified the importance of preserving freedom of religion within a society:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.”

The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”


Would you say that we are proving President Washington’s point? Today people want freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion. People seem to see God as some towering ogre bent on destroying our happiness. The exact opposite is the case. He seeks our best and lays it out in His word for us to pick up and follow. Our trouble is, we are settling for less than the best we can have. We have lowered the bar when we can be raising it.


Let’s Keep The Light of God’s Standards Burning!