The MESSAGE BIBLE
Don't you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The Law Code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of "forbidden fruit" out if it.
The Law Code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphemalia of the Law Code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless and I went along without paying much attention to it.
But once sin got its hands on the Law Code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled and fell for it.The very command that was supposed to guide me into Life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the Law Code itself is God's good and common sense, each command a sane and holy counsel.
I can already hear your question: "Does that mean that I can't even trust what is good [that is, the Law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil? NO, again. Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing ... using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me.
By hiding within God's good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own. I can anticipate the response that's coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I am not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes, I am full of myself --- after all I've spent a long time in sin's prison.
What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary. But I need something more!
For if I know the Law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best interests, I obviously need help.
Reverend Robert W. & Mary C. Butler