19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (King James Version)
Moses came down from Mount Sinai. In his arms were two tablets of stone with the commandments of God written upon them. On subsequent trips up the mountain Moses received laws, statutes, precepts that form the framework of relationships between man and God, man and man, and man in his animals. Those who would obey "The Law" would be accepted by the land they were about to enter and be blessed by God. It was for their safety, health and general welfare that these laws were given to the children of Israel. All of these laws were good.
The set of laws that came down from Mount Sinai was meant only for the children of Israel and to those who attached themselves to the nation of Israel. The Gentile, simply living among the children of Israel, also had to live according to that law with some restrictions mandated by God. The rest of the world was not under the law. However, the law was a testimony to the world of the wisdom and knowledge of God. If the children of Israel obeyed the law then God would be honoured by the nations that surround them. If the children of Israel disobeyed the law then the name of God would be blasphemed among those very same nations.
There are always consequences for those who sin. It does not matter whether you know the law or not, sin will exact its price. The people who lived in the promised land, before Israel arrived at their borders, were about to be vomited out because of their sin. They did not have a knowledge of the law. They still were destroyed because of their sin. The whole world suffers as a result of sin.
Those who had the law also had a knowledge of sin. Because they would know when they transgressed that law, God made provision for them to escape the consequences of sin, by giving them the sacrifices that would atone for their error. The rest of the world did not have this God approved method of dealing with sin. The world usually did have a Satan inspired, twisted version, of God's way of dealing with sin. Those sacrifices benefited Satan and his band of dark Angels and not the people offering the sacrificse. The knowledge of God's way, within a few generations, was usually lost among the people who received some form of the truth. The evidence presented in the Scriptures proved that even the children of Israel were just as guilty of straying. Eventually the nation of Israel was judged guilty of breaking the law, of breaking their covenant with God, of spoiling the land, and suffered the same result for sinning as the nations that preceded them.
We have seen through the history contained in the Bible that having a knowledge of the law does not prevent someone from sinning. The Gentile nations, who had no knowledge of the law, suffered the consequences of sin. Their very consciences told them that they were wrong. As time progressed their conscience became seared until they no longer could tell the difference between right and wrong. Sin would seek out its pound of flesh. They suffered and sacrificed to no avail. Eventually they fell silent under the hand of a God they did not know. The nation of Israel, who had a knowledge of the law, eventually suffered those very same consequences. But didn't they know they were sinning? Constantly being reminded of their sin, because they had the law, they performed the sacrifices with less heart and less conviction as time went on. To avoid guilt they began to avoid God and his law. In the end they chose other gods and offered them sacrifices. Eventually they too fell silent under the hand of a God they no longer knew.
The children of Israel were in bondage. They were under the house rules of Babylon. God, ever faithful, birthed within this once disobedient people a new vision and gave them a new heart. They once again turned their minds toward the law of God. They wanted to reestablish their covenant with God. They wanted Jerusalem to rise again. They wanted their nation back. And God said, "Yes!" History once again shows us how God led the people of Israel back to the land and reconstituted worship. The law became firmly established and the nation of Israel grew.
Not only did the nation of Israel grow but so did the law. It became greater and more expansive. Did this greater and more expansive law benefit the nation? No, it just gave the people a more detailed knowledge of sin. The sad part? That it was not a true knowledge of sin or the ways of God but a perverted version. It seems no matter what God intends, people who have the truth cannot hold onto that truth. It always falls short because of the weakness of man's flesh. The law does not prevent a person from sinning. It only shows that he is guilty when he breaks it.
So the conclusion is simply this, whether you are only dealing with those who walk according to the conscience of man or dealing with those who are under the law of God, guilt is the first evidence that a person has sinned. Whether Jew or Gentile they will know without a doubt that they have fallen short. They are guilty of breaking God's way for life. Everyone will know that truth when they stand before God on The Day of Judgment.
Website administrator: Joseph A Raymond
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada