The Four Spiritual Laws of Moses
Bill Bright isn’t the only one who has spiritual laws. But the spiritual laws of the Bible are a bit different.
Let’s talk about the four spiritual laws.
Not Bill Bright’s four spiritual laws. He’s one of those people who are guilty of spiritualizing real issues people deal with every day. No, I’m going to talk about Moses’ four spiritual laws. These spiritual laws are what forms the backbone of most of the Bible, including the teaching of Jesus. So let’s get to them and you’ll see how they apply to what we have been talking about.
God has a plan for your community to live in justice and peace— First of all, Moses isn’t talking about individuals, but peoples. Perhaps an ethnicity, perhaps a community with a variety of ethnicities, but a people who sees them. And God’s plan isn’t to make us individually happy, but for us, as a community, to live in justice and peace with each other.
Oppression separates us from justice and peace.— Not our individual sin, but people who have power, who use that power to keep us from meeting our own needs. Oppressors could be governments, or wealthy people, or religious people, or families or many other people or groups with power. Groups of human beings have great power, no matter how that group is collected. And if a powerful person or a group of people move the basket, or blame people for being unable to meet the standards they themselves create, then they are oppressors. For instance, to take a privilege, like having certain colored skin or being able to pay for electricity or running water, and establishing that as a standard to live or to have children, and they will take your right to have children or to live because of that standard, then that is oppression.
We separate ourselves from oppression by crying out to God for deliverance, an act of grace.— The third spiritual law has to do with crying out to the highest judge. The God of the Hebrews is the god of slaves, the god of the poor, the god of the oppressed. Not the god of one ethnicity, nor the god of one religion, but the god of the poor. And God’s job is deliverance from oppression. God created the world and gave it to humans to rule. But if one group of humans force a second group to live and work for the benefit of the first because of their power, then God, as judge of the world steps in and brings salvation, deliverance, freedom from oppression. God asks only that we cry out and ask, even demand, that deliverance. Because God will not step in to take over the sovereignty that God established us from the beginning. God delivers by request only.
God requires that in receiving deliverance and grace, we also generously give it. So God steps in and delivers the poor, the enslaved, the oppressed. God grants them freedom from their oppressors and grants them resources to live, to survive. Some would say that this is unconditional, but Moses didn’t and neither did Jesus. There is one standard— that we are to live according to the deliverance we have received. If we have obtained freedom from debt, we are to give freedom from debt. If we were immigrants in other people’s lands, we are to give place to immigrants. If we have had education granted to us for free, we are to give education for free. If we have been healed, we are to heal others. Whatever we have received, we are to give. That is the payment. We will talk about this more another time.
For now, we need to see our place in Advent. Advent is about the hope of release from deliverance. It is a time of prayer, when we will cry out to God for deliverance. It is a time of longing for peace and justice.
If we have what we need, if we can make the basket, then we need to be praying and working for others who are oppressed. Because we live in a world of oppression. We live in a world where powerful people regularly take advantage of those without power and discard them when they are done. And Jesus promised us all deliverance from those powers, and he only asks that we participate is people’s release from debt, slavery, landlessness and sickness.