WHAT IS GOD LIKE?

# 16 A GOD WHO SETS BOUNDARIES

Just as the manufacturer supplies the purchaser with a list of instructions to optimise the use of his product, even so God, our Creator, has given us lists of instructions [for example - Genesis 2:17; Exodus 20:1-17; Leviticus 18:1-30; Deuteronomy 6:4; 18:9-13; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:8-10].

These instructions - God's laws, God's commands - are not given to inhibit us, but rather to define the life for which we, as humans, were created. They define both what is good for us, that will express and fulfill the identity he created us to be, and what is bad for us, that corrupts us and prevents us from ever being what he created us to be. The God who made us knows best how we achieve our optimum potential as human beings. He who made us knows exactly what is good for us and what is bad for us. For those who love him, his commands are neither a burden nor a frustration, but a gift from his hand by which he guides us into the life of glory and blessedness for which he created us [1 John 5:3].

For instance, negative emotions which are forbidden by his command - anger, hatred, jealousy, fear - are now known by medical scientists to cause or contribute to a wide range of physical and psychological problems. The social and relational difficulties we experience are largely due to the choices we ourselves, and others, make to act contrary to God's instructions.

The BIble describes the blessedness of the human life that is lived within the boundaries that God sets:

'Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither' [Psalm 1:1-3].

God is for us. His will and purpose are for our good; the boundaries he sets give clarity of direction and purpose [Psalm 119]. It is only our historic, personal and corporate choices to disobey our Maker's instructions, to break out from his set guidelines for the authentic human life, that have plunged human life into the mess it is in.

Is there any remedy? Can the damage we incur by stepping beyond God's boundaries be reversed or repaired? Yes. It can. God's 'repair kit' involves repentance and regeneration [Acts 3:19; John 3:1-7]. Check out the studies on these two concepts in the 'Words of Salvation' studies on this website.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2007