Law and Grace
Today’s reading: Exodus 19-21; Matthew 20:1-16
“Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. Exodus 21:1
15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ Matthew 20:15
In today’s reading in Exodus, God gives His law to Moses for Israel. It is a comprehensive law including moral, political, and ceremonial aspects. Is there any indication of grace in this law system? Yes, but it is easy to overlook. In the ceremonial laws, a priesthood is established and offerings are to be made for sin, to atone for the breaking of the law. It points to a need for a permanent offering for sin. It points to the grace of God that would be revealed in Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, the tone of the law is one of justice and equity, doing what is right. The political or civil law designated proper responsibilities for restitution to injured parties, proper treatment of slaves, and so forth. It is easy to get a mentality of minimal compliance, that is, we do what is required but never any more.
As John 1:17 tells us, “…the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Jesus’ parable of the laborers in the vineyard show how this grace is poured out on some. The master of the house paid the early workers their due but the later arriving workers got the same amount. The former complained about the disparity. They show they do not understand nor accept the graciousness of the master.
The law was given to show us our sin (Romans 3:19-20), but, having seen it, we are called to seek God who deals with His children with grace, giving what we have not earned nor deserved.
Resentment toward the Master for His grace toward others is a sure sign of never having received His grace. Be warned. Seek the God of grace who in Jesus, His Son, kept the law perfectly and made an offering for sin that covers all who turn to Him in faith and repentance.