The Law Is Written on Our Hearts

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." -- Luke 4: 18-19 (NKJV)

Look around you. You probably see people of every sort in all walks of life. You probably see children playing, teenagers laughing, adults planning, elders enjoying the day. But then, you might see people that darken the mood; those that are cursing, yelling, and fighting. We attempt to control some of the things we see that darken this world by instilling and upholding the law. But God created the world, so what are His laws, and are they still in effect today?

I believe that God's laws are still in effect today because God makes himself known to us by the law that He writes on all peoples' hearts. The law that is written on our hearts is the same law that God gave Moses over 2000 years ago. It has to be for two reasons,
  1. God never changes. If He never changes, why would His laws change? Laws are set because of some moral system that a leader wants his people to follow. If God is our leader, and He never changes, then His morals and law will never change.
  2. The law that God gave Moses consists of many of the same laws that we have today. These laws can be from the government, our families, or even our own hearts and moral standards.
The main law that God gave His people was the Ten Commandments. These laws were the basis of everything for the Jews. Deuteronomy 5:7-21 lists the Ten Commandments, and they are as follows:
  1. "You shall have no other gods before Me." - America was built on the notion of being able to pursue religion freely. The Pledge of Allegiance uses the phrase 'one nation under God.' At one point, we understood who god was and what we were. Even now, as our nation slowly drifts away from that, we all feel that we are missing and losing something we used to have: our connection with God.
  2. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." - His name is holy, but used in this way it slanders God.
  3. "Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work" - I hear stories of the days when my parents grew up of when Sunday was always a no work day. People went to church, came home, at a meal together and enjoyed each other's company. Businesses weren't open, factories closed, and everyone did that because the Sabbath day is holy. God worked six days of the week and rested the seventh. If he needed the rest, a perfect, all-powerful God, how much more so do we need the rest as weak, imperfect humans?
  4. "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God as commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you." - One commandment that has stuck around has been this one. We've all seen the consequences of children who don't obey their parents. We have to deal with their misbehavior, attitudes, and disrespect as teachers, students, classmates, etc. Honor our parents is so ingrained in our nature, that when we start to disobey, disrespect, and dishonor them, we are turned into a self-loathing creature that has no respect for anyone.
  5. "You shall not murder." - Murder is a law straight from the government. Everyone knows life is precious and not one person can be replaced. We know this because God made us to know it. There are exceptions we have such as the death penalty, but God also had death penalties as punishments for murder. Nothing from Moses' time to now has changed about our understanding of murder.
  6. "You shall not commit adultery." - Nowadays, adultery occurs so often it is hardly punished by the law. But everyone knows it's wrong based on the way adulterers and cheaters go about the act. It's not out in the open because it is against the law. It creates turmoil and anger, and causes destruction of the relationship. God made a law against it because he wants us to build each other up, not tear each other down by destroying their trust in others.
  7. "You shall not steal." - We all know stealing is wrong, it's even made illegal. God put the law in our hearts because He provides everything we need. There is no need to steal from others. We steal because of our desires, which provokes jealousy of what they have and the belief that what we have isn't good enough to sustain us.
  8. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." - Humans value the truth, but this part of us also comes from God. He tell us not to bear false witness against one another. This goes beyond being in a courtroom. It includes talking ill of others, misrepresenting someone or their intentions, and destroying any part of their reputation. Once again, we're meant to build others up not tear them down, and committing this act does just the opposite of what we all want. We don't want others to spread rumors, especially when their wrong. We all want to be treated well. His law is not an accident.
  9. /10."You shall not covet your neighbor's wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." - both of these are combined in verse 21 with coveting. Even if we don't steal, when we covet, we nurture our jealousy. If the feeling isn't not stopped, it grows into horrible thoughts, words, and deeds. Anything we let into our hearts controls us whether we want it to or not.

The Ten Commandments, God gave to Moses and the Israelites, He also engraved it into every person's heart. As Paul says in Romans 2, "for when Gentiles (non-Jews) do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts (14-15, NKJV). We all know what issan, what the law says, right, even when we don't know the law. And, we all prove it by doing what's in God's law without even knowing it.