In the beginning, God gave human kind one rule:
“you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”
and fairly soon after that, humankind broke the one rule.
So, to make it ‘easier’ or maybe clearer?, God introduced the Ten Commandments, of which there were actually 613 rules.(google it)
Lets face it, that’s a pretty tall order and there wasn’t likely to be anyone that could keep them all, so then God introduced Jesus to us – His way of showing Himself to us in a way we would understand (thank you Mike Foster). Jesus condensed the 613 down to two rules:
He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “
(we won’t get distracted by the fact that he added ‘mind’ to the quote from Deuteronomy 6:5)
And we still find it pretty much impossible to do that.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart…”
Put your hand up if you can say you do that all the time.
However few or however many rules we are given, we find it very hard to follow them for whatever reason. God’s hands are tied, we are failures at following even the simplest of rules or commands. Sometimes I feel (especially when looking at the 613 of the Torah) that we are supposed to be overwhelmed by the impossibility of it all and thus surrender to God and his invitation to provide a saviour who will do the work for us and live the life we could never manage.
David captures this so graphically in a kind of beautiful and yet tragic and very bleak way in Psalm 109, most notably in verses 26 & 27
Help me, O LORD my God;
save me in accordance with your love.
Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, O LORD, have done it.
Perhaps its time we held our hands up and surrendered our inability to follow God’s rules, and let him do the work in us and through us instead of struggling on in our own strength / weakness (depending on how you look at it).
In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words.