Anonymous: If you'd spend a fraction of the time studying and promoting God's law as you do so-called natural law, perhaps we could divert the judgment of God on this nation.
First of all, I must say: I had no idea that I held such authority and power in the destiny of this nation; me, a mosquito. Yes, bionic…but still.
Yet the more interesting topic: God’s Law vs. Natural Law. No, I don’t see a difference in any meaningful sense, but play along.
Now, I could point to the ability to find natural law strictly via Scripture, as I have done in the past; or I might suggest that God created a universe ordered on principle and pattern (He did), with each created being having a purpose (it does), a telos – hence, “God’s Law” and “Natural Law” are therefore one and the same thing (at least on all the meaningful features, it seems to be so).
But, instead, I will this time pull on a string that was first explored here, via the question “why the flood?” In other words, on what basis was man punished before the Law was revealed?
Now…that word “revealed.” Is it only to mean “words I read in the Bible”? Many who use the term “revealed” mean it this way. But can it not also mean what has been revealed to us in and through His creation? A simple question: does not the physiology, biology, and anatomy of a man and of a women “reveal” something of God’s law?
For me, the answer is yes – and therefore I have no need to continue this post; this “picture” given to us by God in His creation paints a thousand words. But for many, this is a bridge too far. So…we only know the purpose of male and female only by the words in Scripture (like intercourse, and therefore procreation, would never happen unless God commanded it). Or…we know murder is wrong only because God said so (hence, it was not wrong before He said so). So, for these, I continue.
Genesis 2: 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Here we have God’s first command to man. Now, this command cannot be deduced from natural law in any way that I see, yet it remained a valid law. It is for the violation of this command that man was removed from paradise. After this event, the command held no more authority – man was removed from the tree and its fruit, hence man could no longer violate this command.
The fruit was already eaten. The cat was out of the bag. The horse had left the barn. You get the idea.
So, we are back to having no “God’s law,” in the sense that we can find written evidence in Scripture.
Genesis 3: 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.
Really, the money verse. Man knows good and evil (God’s law), not by any revelation from God, but…naturally…once he ate the fruit. It is important that this is so, otherwise we are left with the accusation for which we have no defense: God is an arbitrary God. Man must know the difference of good and evil without God’s law; he must know it by his nature, the nature inherent in him once he ate the fruit.
Genesis 4: 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
God had no regard for Cain and his offering? Why? God expected that Cain knew how to “do well.” On what basis would God expect such a thing?
I find no law of God preceding these verses that Cain might have violated, nothing from God that said “I am not a vegetarian.” On what basis was God displeased? Was it a whim, random chaos, arbitrary requirements?
Or was it something else, something not written or spoken, perhaps something breathed into man in his creation? Was it something from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? If so, we don’t have the words, nor did Adam or Eve hear any words. Merely by eating the fruit, did they discover the law…naturally? The natural law? Is this what they passed on to their descendants?
I don’t know, but I do know that whatever Cain violated, there is no “God’s law” that cautioned him against this.