If the “higher law” you live has a “lower bar” than the “lower law” you disparage, you are probably missing something.
I’ve been caught up researching and thinking about “the law” for months. Recently, I’ve started to have some breakthroughs, but that post will have to wait for a while. Since “coming to me” last week, this particular thought has helped me sort through important scriptural search results. I didn’t see any reason it shouldn’t stand alone.
Quite obviously, all this is referring to the “Mosaic Law,” “carnal law” or “letter of the law” as compared to the “Law of Christ,” “spiritual law” or “spirit of the law.” It would be a misapplication of the above to replace the “lower law” with the lower law plus all the fences and additions, especially those that may be incongruous with, if not in contradiction to the spirit of said lower law (which, frankly, is all too frequently done in order to rationalize the discrediting of the lower law).
Example: Sabbath Observance
Let’s look at three different translations of Isaiah 58:13-14
Avraham Gileadi Translation
“If you will keep your feet from trampling the Sabbath — from achieving your own ends on my holy day — and consider the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord venerable, and if you will honor it by refraining from your everyday pursuits — from occupying yourselves with your own affairs and speaking of business matters — then shall you delight in the Lord, and I will make you traverse the heights of the earth and nourish you with the heritage of Jacob your father. By this mouth the Lord has spoken it.”
Complete Jewish Bible
“If you hold back your foot on Shabbat from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, ADONAI’s holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things or pursuing your interests or speaking about them. If you do, you will find delight in ADONAI – I will make you ride on the heights of the land and feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Ya’akov, for the mouth of ADONAI has spoken.”
King James’ Version
“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
Jonathan’s Very Loose Version
If we take Isaiah literally, it would be pretty easy to read this as: would you please, on this one day, this one holy day quit being so full of yourselves. Put aside all your vain, vapid, vacuous, vulgar, verbose and even venomous words, thoughts and deeds. Instead, delight in the Lord. Then He will bestow upon you all the covenant blessings of your father Jacob (Israel, Ya’akov).
In case you missed it, that would be the “lower law;” Isaiah sets the bar pretty high.
I don’t know about you, but the last 40 years of Sabbaths for me have been closer to the abomination end of the scale. Next Sabbath, listen and mark on the scale if sacrament talks, lessons, comments, and casual conversations are closer to the I/me/my/us/our (/you/your) end or to the He/Him/His end of the continuum.
As for me an my house, we have a great deal to repent of….