We think it humorous when someone refers to the Golden Rule as “He who has the gold makes the rules.”  It is fact that what we refer to as “the Golden Rule” is not even identified as such, in the holy writ.  This reference is one given by man, defining the guideline as one of great value, one that was put forward by Jesus when He said, “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)  It is interesting that the Law and the Prophets aspect assigned to this passage is also referred to regarding the first and greatest command.  This is a clear indication that a rule to live by today has in fact been God’s intention at least as far back as the Law of Moses. 

Is that the way you’ve understood this?  There are those today who would have us believe that the God of the Old Testament is not the same as the God of the New Testament.  Perhaps you subscribe to this belief or some semblance of it.  I would tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth.  The God who gave the Law to Moses calls for extreme response to infractions of His regulations.  At least a dozen laws called for the penalty of death for their violation, included among these were murder, rape, blasphemy, adultery, Sabbath-breaking, witchcraft…  It is my contention that the focus of mankind has always been one of a negative approach, especially in the area of law.  If you do these things, this will happen to you!  An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth and so on.  Our focus has been on the administration of the punishment rather than on the guideline itself.  Don’t kill!  Don’t steal!  Don’t blaspheme!  I think you get the picture…  Galatians 5:14 tells us ‘…the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the {statement} “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”’ (NAS)  Friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters, we can please God and keep His word if we will stop the selfishness that has crippled us spiritually for so long.  Can you even imagine the idea of doing to yourself that which you have no problem doing to your neighbor?  And don’t ask me “Who is my neighbor?” because we are all neighbors of one another!  Do to them what you would have them to do unto you! I believe God followed this principle when He looked upon mankind and asked, “How do I want them to treat me?”  Thank you, God, for your infinite love, grace and mercy!  Thank you for living the Golden Rule for us!  Help us to do the same to others as you have taught us!

Copyright © 2011, Nolan P. Rutter

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