Law and love seem to be two very different things, like two polarities that would never meet. To uphold the law, one must be strict and impartial, treat sin as it is and punish the guilty. To love is to forgive, to give support, to be patient and to wait for others to repent. The former is taking and demanding, the latter is giving and yielding. How can they be merged together and be reconciled?
The Book of Proverbs gives a warning about illicit love, love outside of the law, love without morals or restraint. Such so called “love” is not love but lusting after the flesh. It is destructive and self-centered. using others to meet one’s needs. There is no pure love apart from the law and lawless love is not real love. Consorting with a prostitute is not the same as making love to your wife or husband.
When the Lord gave Moses the laws and statutes for Israel, He revealed His nature, which is both righteousness and love at the same time. When the fatherless and the widows were being oppressed, God would get angry and punish the oppressor by killing them. The reason for His actions is because He is a merciful God. So when He required the Israelites to be holy, He was not only being right but His righteousness came with mercy. The Pharisees missed the point, going for the route of self-righteousness apart from love. Righteousness without mercy is not from God’s heart, one cannot have the law apart from love.
Love without law is sinful lust. Law without love is hypocritical. Both would degenerate into self-centeredness. Jesus came to explain God’s character. He was full of grace and truth, love and law. He said that love fulfills the law and one cannot have one without the other. When law increases, love must also increase. In the last days, Jesus describes a time of hardship and tribulation. People’s love will grow cold because lawlessness is on the rise. The decrease of the law also brings in the decrease in love. The two are tied together.
The gospel of the Kingdom is law and love merged together. To satisfy the righteous requirements of God, Jesus came to die for sinners. In the eternal love of God, God’s righteousness is satisfied. It must be preached to the ends of the world as a testimony to all people before the end shall come. When one is fully aware of the law and the love of God, he or she would be the embodiment of both righteousness and mercy. Sharing the good news would be easy if you are living it.
Are you blending righteousness and mercy in your life? Are you too harsh on those who cannot keep the law? Are you living a holy life, reflecting the love of God? Is your life balanced with love and righteousness?
Ps 20:1-9 Exo 21:22-23:13 Matt 24:1-28 Prov 7:6-23