You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:32–33, ESV)

How does a sinful people live with a holy God?  This is the conundrum that the Israelites faced as they left Egypt and entered the Promised Land.  What did God require of them?  How were they to act?  What pleased him?  What displeased him?  What pitfalls ought they to be on the lookout for?

Virtually all of Leviticus and some of Numbers and Deuteronomy take up this issue.  The rules and regulations that seem so boring and nonsensical to the culture in which we live were vital to the very life of the people of Israel.  Indeed, they were God’s grace to them.  He had delivered them already from Egypt (salvation!) and now he was instructing them how to live in harmony with him (grace!).  This is why the psalmist can write a psalm of 176 verses in which he does nothing but describe his love for God’s law.

God’s law protected his people and ensured that they would live and that they would live in shalom and that they would live long in the the Promised Land.