February 16 I Tuesday
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” —Romans 2:1
Is there a law that is not simply superimposed on us, but something natural and inherent within us that transcends time and culture? Yes, our universe is governed by natural laws of different kinds. There are mathematical laws, where two plus two always equals four and twelve divided by four always equals three. There are laws of chemistry, where two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen give us water. There are laws of physics that are totally dependable such as the laws of motion and the laws of gravity.
Similarly, is there a moral law in the universe that is also fixed? In C.S. Lewis’s book, Mere Christianity, he points out that there is a basic understanding of right and wrong that is fairly general across the world, in different cultures, different civilizations, different times and different religions. Even though there are variations, there is a general sense of the moral law. He writes, “Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five.” Lewis defends that there is this natural law with a general sense of right and wrong that permeates through humanity.
Paul talks about this in Romans 2:14-15, “Indeed...Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law…even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” Even though the Jews were the ones who received the Ten Commandments, the Gentiles also did, by nature, things required by the law. Was this simply a mere coincidence? No, the requirements of the law are written in their hearts; there is a natural sense of right and wrong.
From the fact that the moral laws are not arbitrarily imposed, but are natural, universal and endemic to the human race, whilst we may feel free to break, revise and change the moral laws, we cannot. The reality is that the moral laws are natural, universal laws, and violation of them is destructive to us. For example, if we choose to challenge the laws of gravity, would that change the laws of gravity? No, it would not. In fact, it will only make fools of us in the long term.
May we recognize that the moral law, like the natural law, is not something we can change or challenge, but humbly submit and obey it.
Prayer: Almighty God, Your moral law, like the natural law, is not something I should challenge. Thank You that the requirements of Your law are written on my heart. Praise You!