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Monday, December 21, 2009

Day Four: Statute

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"We have no government armed with the power
capable of contending with human passions
unbrideld by morality and religion."
~ John Adams

Day Four: Statute
chuqqah: fem. noun (or choq: masc noun), "regulation, law, ordinance, decree, mandate"
from chaqaq: verb, to cut, to inscribe, to engrave, to decree

You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.
~ Psalms 119:68 (NKJV)

Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good... I agree with the law that it is good.
~ Romans 7:12,16 (NKJV)

Parents make rules. "You're not allowed to" this and "you must do" that. We issue such decrees having in mind not so much the specifics as a good overall outcome for our children. First problem is, kids listen to the letter of the law and ignore the spirit. No lawyer could ever be as creative in finding a way around the statute as a child is.

Second problem is that you simply can't make enough rules to cover all undesirable behavior. I finally declared the default rule: "If I think you should have known better, you're accountable."

My twisted sense of humor is amused that despite the 613 statutes which the Lord gave Moses, He says in Jeremiah 32:35 of His people's sin: "I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination." I cannot help but picture a loving Father clenching His divine jaw in exasperation that His children might think to do the unthinkable.

The above two words for statute (chuqqah and choq) both mean "written in stone." Make no mistake: this is required stuff.

It's required, but we cannot do it.

So Jesus set us free from the requirements of law. He first met the death penalty for our violation, then wrote the upon our hearts the Law of Liberty. While Jews find unity in observing The Law, church unity comes through the Spirit of the law. He does not dictate the outward compliance demanded by the Old Testament, but the higher standard of the New and improved Testatment.

More on that tomorrow.

Father in Heaven, You are good—You are holy!—and desire for us Your best. Please soften our hearts to the statutes You wish to write upon them. Please put in us a yearning for all that is of You and Your goodness. I love You!

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photo from


  1. Write upon my heart Father, and I promise to never choose to erase Your words.

  2. Amen to your prayer. Btw. I like photo above.

  3. OH, the glorious freedom in Christ! That we are free to be who we ultimately are when we acknowledge, love and serve who He ultimately is! Thank You God for the law. Thank you Jesus for Your sacrifice in fulfilling it. Thank You Holy Spirit for being an ever-faithful guide as we strive to love God more fully.

    May God bless you richly in this Advent season, Anne!

  4. Good morning and blessings Anne. I'll think about the Law of Liberty today... :-)

  5. I'm thanking God as I write this for meeting the death penalty for my violation.

    Such a clever picture for this post!
    ~ Wendy

  6. Re: photo.

    I can understand a parent who didn't think of the rule, "No licking pigs."

    But I don't get a parent who stands there watching it, even to get a photo this good.

  7. Denise, I willingly ask Him to so engrave His every word upon my heart that it can neither be erased nor even fade.

    Natasa, I amen your amen. May it be so for us all, in times easy and difficult.

    Gwen, ah the freedom we have indeed. How can we ever hesitate His leading as we still do?

    Russell, blessings back to you. Nice post you did for Christmas.

    Wendy, "Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be."

  8. "I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination." Hard to imagine this statement coming from an omniscient God.

  9. Susan, I agree that out of context, the Lord's words are inconsistent with His omniscience. I believe He is speaking in hyperbole because of the degree of wickedness involved.

    The context is the Lord's judgment of the people worshipping Baal in proximity to the temple, and sacrificing their children as burnt offerings to Molech. (To say nothing of the sacrifices to demonic / pagan gods in the very temple.) It's as if He's saying, "Why should I need to think of forbiding something this bad?"

    That's my point exactly. We don't make rules like "no licking pigs" because it's so unthinkable to us. But children don't think, they just look at the letter of the law, do anything not included, and claim 'obedience.'

    The Law of Liberty encompasses the spirit of the law, and goes beyond the written law to our very thoughts. This is the law we obey from the heart, with the mind of Christ, with freedom we could have never known under the law engraved in stone.

    I love delving into the challenges Scripture presents us. Thanks, Susan!

  10. I needed this so badly. you always offer the right dose of medicine from the Lord's chest of treasures. I thank you for being so intune with the Holy Spirit.

  11. Hi Anne,

    The picture made me laugh and shudder simultaneously.

    I love this: "If I think you should have known better, you're accountable." Brilliant! That'll make a kid think twice before acting out.

    Love your new blog header, Anne. Things are looking mighty spiffy around here! :)

    Merry Christmas week to you!

  12. My kids are even more literal than their black-and-white-world mother. And we're finally moving past the "you didn't tell me not to" absurdity. But I don't know that I ever thought about God throwing His hands up at me over the very same thing.

    Thank you for the sharp-pointed reminder. I needed it.

  13. T. Anne, you make me smile. I just finished writing tomorrow's post, about things prescribed (like medicine from a physician). I saw your comment earlier, and didn't connect til just now the "right dose of medicine." LOL!

    Julie, I often wonder if they thought once. I long for the day when I never again say, "What were you thinking?" and get a blank look in return. (Glad you like the winter theme BTW. :D) Merry Christmas back at you and yours.

    Lyla, I understand every word, more than I wish I did. Hope you catch tomorrow's post, which takes this a step further.


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