Jury Duty

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The goal of God’s Word isn’t to grind you into dust but to grow you to maturity. He loves you so much he wants you to enjoy the rewards of living within his law.

Bible Reading: Psalm 19:7-11

There is great reward for those who obey [the laws of the Lord]. Psalm 19:11

You check the mail and there it is: your official summons to jury duty.  It’s your pass to the jury box and the job of finding someone guilty or innocent.

You want to sit in on something huge, like an ax-murder case or an espionage trial or the slicing up of some monopolistic multinational computer corporation. But whatever you get, you want to be ready. You want to make a wise decision when it comes time to determine the verdict.

You plan to be the best juror the court has ever seen. More than anything, you don’t want to stupidly set a guilty person free. You’re going to put some people be­hind bars. With you on duty, if they did the crime, they’ll do the time. So you cram to learn all you can about the laws of the land. You dig through statutes and ordinances. You study every law book you can find. You’re ready to bring down the hammer of justice on some bad guys.

But in your study, you make an amazing discovery. There’s more to the law than catching people doing wrong and filleting felons. Surprisingly, you find that a huge hunk of the law has to do with great rewards for people who do right. Laws don’t just punish bad people; they protect and provide for good people. By living within the boundaries of the law, people gain things like freedom, prosperity, safety, and other highly-prized outcomes. A light bulb blinks on in your brain and you realize that protecting victims is just as important as punishing the criminals.

In the same way, God’s law isn’t just a rule book loaded with reasons to send people to the slammer. Rules, regulations, and consequences aren’t the only thing you need to know about God’s law. The law isn’t just about “you shall do this” and “you shall not do that.” Sure, you have to know where God’s boundaries are. Psalm 19:11 says that God’s laws serve as “a warning to those who hear them.” But the next phrase paints the rest of the picture: “There is great reward for those who obey them.” Warnings, in other words, are there for a reason. They reward us with God’s protection and provision-things like peace with God, healthy relationships with others, and eternal life.

God didn’t give the Bible to hammer you but to heal you. The goal of God’s Word isn’t to grind you into dust but to grow you to maturity. God isn’t out to catch you doing something wrong but to coach you in doing what’s right. He loves you so much he wants you to enjoy the rewards of living within his law.

REFLECT: What good does “the law” do in your life?

PRAY: Tell God why you think the law is a pretty good idea.

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