His Commandments Are Not Grievous
By: Brian A. Yeager
I have met too many people over the years, assembling as Christians, who felt that being a Christian was overly burdensome. Some will outright make statements that indicate they feel that obeying God is too heavy of a task. Others constantly show it through their complaints and whiny attitudes. Now, I am not saying obedience to God is easy. Such a statement would not be true (Acts 14:22). Nor am I saying there is not work to be done to be saved (Acts 2:40) and remain saved (Colossians 1:23). What I am about to teach is what the Scriptures say. It is not overly burdensome to fully obey God.
When a follower of the Lord thinks about obeying God his or her mind should be along the lines like this: “And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes” (Psalms 119:47-48). If we delight in the commandments of our Lord, how could we feel overly burdened by them? If we love His law how could we consider it in a negative sense? God, whom knows all things (I John 3:20), knew how to create a law that is not too hard for man. He has made all things in a way that we can overcome what we face even in tough times (I Corinthians 10:13).
Do you believe that God would lie to us (Numbers 23:19 and Titus 1:2)? Do you believe that God’s wisdom is greater than human wisdom (Psalms 147:5, Isaiah 40:28, Isaiah 55:7-9, Romans 11:33-36, and I Corinthians 3:18-20)? If you struggle with thinking that obeying God is too much of a task; would you trust Him if He told you His commands were not overly burdensome? Would you trust God’s wisdom and His word enough to just do what He says? With those questions in mind, consider what God says about His word not being too much of a burden to bear.
The Love Of God Says His Commandments Are Not Burdensome
God wants us all to be saved (I Timothy 2:4 and II Peter 3:9). He has not made it too hard of a task. Notice: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:1-3).
God did not say we have nothing to bear. He said that His commandments are not grievous. That word means: “weighty, i. e. (fig) burdensome, grave: — grievous, heavy, weightier” (Strong’s # 926). Man creates heavy burdens (Matthew 23:1-4). God does not. In fact, Jesus said this: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Do you believe those Scriptures you just read? If so, how could you ever express or act like God is unreasonable in His expectations of you? When the erring teachers from Jerusalem infected the saints in Antioch with a burdensome turn back to the Law of Moses, that error had to be corrected (Acts 15:1-31). In that context, the corrective message to Antioch included this statement: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things” (Acts 15:28). This is the clear message of the New Testament as a whole. The New Testament is a message of liberty (Galatians 5:1). Therefore, our reaction should be fitting to those who understand we live in a time of liberty though under a law (James 1:25).
The Right Attitude Towards Obeying The Law Of The Lord
Consider these inspired statements: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart… Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way… Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights… Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Psalms 40:8, Psalms 119:127-128, Psalms 119:140-143, and Jeremiah 15:16).
All of the Scriptures you just read are Old Testament quotes. Now remember, the Law then was much more of a burden than the Law of Christ. The Law of Moses was also weak in that it could not justify anyone (Acts 13:38-39). Now consider this, if they could love God’s law then; how much greater should we whom have much more to gain in Christ than they could in the Law of Moses? How could we ever complain about commandments that save us?
Is It Logical To Consider Freedom A Burden?
How many times have you heard or maybe even quoted this: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)? Through the commandments of our Savior Jesus Christ we, whom have obeyed it (Romans 6:17), are free from sin (Romans 6:22). What is there to complain about in that? We live under and obey a law that saves us. The end of that obedience is eternal life (Hebrews 5:8-9). What can you complain about concerning that? We live under and obey a law that teaches us the best way to live in this life and equips us to have the life to come (II Peter 1:3-10). How can we conclude that is a burden to bear?
God says His word is not burdensome. Will you challenge Him on that? Would you dare stand in His sight and say He has lied to you? If you have ever or presently consider what He expects from you, out of His word, as too much; aren’t you charging Him as saying something that is not true? Let’s spend our time in this life thankfully having the word of God abiding in us (Colossians 3:15-16). Realize the blessing it is to live under the New Covenant. Celebrate the freedom we have in Christ (Romans 8:2)! Such is not too hard to do!
Volume 16 – Issue 18 - January 17th, 2016