Q: Why did God give us a bunch of rules (like the Ten Commandments) that we’re supposed to obey, when he knew we wouldn’t keep them? Wouldn’t it have been better for him to just let us make up our own rules for living? — B.M.
A: Have you ever actually tried to make up your own rules for living? What would you leave out? Would you leave out any rules about lying, or cheating, or stealing, or killing, or respect for others — all of which are covered in the Ten Commandments? I doubt it, because without them life ends up in chaos and destruction.
And God knows this, which is why he has told us what is right and what is wrong. God didn’t give us the Ten Commandments (and similar statements, such as Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount) because he hates us and wants to make our lives miserable. God loves us, and just as a loving parent won’t let their child wander into the traffic, so God loves us too much to sit back and watch us destroy ourselves.
But you’re right: We have not obeyed what God told us to do. Instead, we have rebelled against him and gone our own way, and when we do, we inevitably pay a price. Not only do we bring chaos and brokenness into our lives, but we are separated from God.
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I can’t help but wonder, however, why you’ve asked this question. Is it because you want to be free to live any way you want to? But that is a dead-end road, both now and in eternity. Instead, turn your life over to Jesus Christ and discover the joy and peace he alone can give. The Bible says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.