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January 4

Genesis 9, Matthew 4:1-17

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

The only valid basis for any law is a previously existing morality. We see this in the institution of capital punish­ment in Genesis 9:6. Here government is given the right to take the murderer's life on the basis that the one killed was "in the image of God" and that the act was therefore an offense to God.

To recognize the connection between law and morality is not to say that the government can develop morality in its citizens, however, for it cannot. It can proscribe penalties. It can enforce them. But it cannot develop the morality those penalties and their enforcement express. … [P]rior to the Supreme Court act of January 22, 1973, legalizing abortion, abortions in the United States were illegal. But they were still performed! Their illegality did not ensure the regard for human life we de­sire.

Someone will argue that the act of the court legalizing abortion opened a floodgate for abuse, and that is true. Far more infants are murdered before birth today than previously, now nearly one and a half million per year in this country. But that is only to say that the law was a restraint on desires that were already present, not that it created contrary desires, which it did not do.

At best, government will express in laws and enforce by its inherent power the sense of morality already present (or absent) in its citizenry. But the morality itself must come from another source. What can that be? … [I]t must be the morality of revealed religion working its way into national life through those citizens who know and sincerely desire to please God. … This means that your con­victions in these and other areas and your forthright expression of them are more important in the ultimate analysis than the laws that may be forthcoming. (J. M. Boice, Genesis, an Expositional Commentary, Vol. 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1982), pp. 308-309)

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