Why Do We Have Laws?

Caroline Simon wrote an article for USA Today in October 2018, listing the “weirdest laws passed in every state” (Simon, 2018). Interesting to see what was considered important but odd at the time and why. For various reasons, the various laws you review reflect areas of importance to humanity, Bigfoot, and wild animals.

USA Today article: Weirdest laws passed in every state; Caroline Simon; Oct. 29, 2018:

  • “In Virginia, it’s illegal to “hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species” on Sundays. However, it is permissible to kill raccoons.”
  • “Bigfoot hunters, beware. Skamania County, Washington, passed a law in 1969 deeming the “slaying of Bigfoot to be a felony and punishable by five years in prison.” The law was later amended, designating Bigfoot as an endangered species.”
  • “According to the Tennessee Constitution, it’s illegal to hold public office if a person does any of the following: “fight a duel, or knowingly be the bearer of a challenge to fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge for the purpose, or be an aider or abettor in fighting a duel.”

I am not sure if these laws remain in effect today. However, at the time they were agreed upon, there were good reasons for them. The laws reviewed to reflect a need to protect somebody or something, which were considered important for some reason.

Let’s shift the focus from national laws to biblical laws. In the Holy Bible, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which were Laws provided by our Heavenly Father for our wellbeing. Exodus 20 (NIV):

  • “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  • “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”
  • “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
  • “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. “
  • “Honor your father and your mother.”
  • “You shall not murder.”
  • “You shall not commit adultery.”
  • “You shall not steal.”
  • “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
  • “You shall not covet.”

The Ten Commandments are important Laws that guide humanity in a direction helpful for making good decisions. Some people view God’s Laws as restrictive demands imposed upon humanity to minimize potentially fun and rewarding experiences. Laws that would otherwise hold people back and prevent them from being who they choose to be. How negative! I do not believe this is God’s intent or desire. I believe God provides these Commandments to shape our faith beliefs and values and set our moral compass in a good direction. As you look at each of these Commandments, if you follow them, you should be successful in life! How positive!

In Psalm 19 (7-9/NIV), King David understands the importance of God’s Laws and why: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.” As King David writes, God’s Laws are “perfect, refreshing, trustworthy, right, provides wisdom, joy to the heart and light to the eyes, radiance, purity and righteous!” A great description of the positive aspects of God’s Laws and Precepts!

There are always two or more ways of viewing things. Primarily the different views may be opposites, positive or negative, and good or bad. From a biblical perspective, I suppose how humanity views a rule is secondary to their relationship with God. If someone seeks first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, the person will live a lifestyle with decisions and actions which are pleasing to God. God did tell Joshua (1:8) that if he kept the Book of the Law always on his lips, meditated on it day and night, and followed what was written, he would be prosperous and successful in doing the mission God placed before him to do. Based on scriptural passages, I believe if I follow God’s Laws, I will be doing the right things which are pleasing to God! Amen!

Many blessings to you!

Reference: Simon, C. (2018), USA Today: “weirdest laws passed in every state.”

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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