See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Not perhaps the first thing we think of when we think of the law.
But for the Hebrew people - recently escaped from Egypt, the law very much was meant for life.
The law set up boundaries for a people who had been living under boundaries that were very much not life giving.
The law was meant to turn these former slaves into neighbors.
The law was meant to turn these former slaves into community: one where each member could depend on the other.
And that's what the law at its best does. Brings people together. Builds trust and community.
Sets healthy boundaries.
Offers a life that isn't meant to be punishing, but instead meant to draw us to God and to each other.
Set your law upon my heart O God so that I may choose life with you. Amen.