Did you ever watch the television show Law & Order… or one of it’s 4,000 spin-offs?  Each episode begins with the police investigating a crime, and ends with the prosecution of the accused.  The law serves to keep us safe from those who would seek to hurt others.  The first five books of the Old Testament are also known as the Pentateuch, or the Law; but the Law in the Old Testament serves a different purpose.  Here’s what Paul says in Romans 3:

Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.  For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.  The law simply shows us how sinful we are (Romans 3:19-20).

I find this to be an important passage in our walk through Scripture this year – especially at this point in the reading schedule.  If you’ve been following along in the reading, you’ve just endured the book of Leviticus, and you’re heading into Numbers.  Neither one of those books are particularly exciting, though there are a handful of interesting stories scattered throughout.  But it can be overwhelming.  In fact, this is the point where a lot of people lose interest and stop their reading plan.

First off, if you’ve gotten off track, don’t worry about it!  Just pick up where we are now and if you want to go back and read, do it, but don’t allow the guilt of not reading stop you from going forward.

Secondly, the Law is not intended for us to memorize and remember every detail.  It exists to let us know that we can’t do it on our own.  Perhaps, it is appropriate that it overwhelms us.  It teaches us a good lesson: persevere in spite of the difficulties.  As Paul says, the Law is not how we are made right with God.  It simply shows us that we can’t do it on our own.  Thank the Lord for Jesus Christ, through whom we can be made right with God.