Written on the Heart, Part 8: How Readest Thou? -- By Elizabeth Price
Last week, in Written on the Heart, Part 7, we came to understand that God longs to have a relationship with us as it was at the beginning. So He gives us the light we need and repeats Himself in varying ways. But just how are we to have God’s lifestyle? How are we to reflect Jesus?

Public figures, such as law-makers and church officials, often say they uphold the sanctity of life. They are saying life is sacred and they treat it as so.

The Lord agrees. He made a specific, unambiguous law about it and carved it on stone. "You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13) He said, and He surrounded it with upholding laws that maintained the sacred nature of life but also maintained the dignity and harmony of life.

Immediately after "you shall not murder" He wrote against infidelity, and I suspect He did so because infidelity devalues life. It reduces self-worth and self-confidence, creates doubt and self-justification and releases a whole set of emotions that diminish dignity and harmony.

Infidelity treats life with contempt.

Even before the law against murder and infidelity, there was a specific law that set a rhythm and pattern of both social and personal dignity and harmony. God wrote that six days work was the upper, allowable limit for work. Nobody could be required to work more than six days in a row in any one week. It was to underpin all of the social and family activities of a whole nation giving recreation, family time and time for meditation and worship.

The sanctity of life was surrounded by equally sacred laws that ensured the quality of every life.

In addition, the Lord spent forty years instilling the necessity for regular and proper meal times. A day's work did not begin until food had been assembled and eaten and the day's work must conclude to allow for the assembling and eating of the last meal of the day.

Stretching the number of days worked or the number of hours worked in a day was not tolerated.

During the forty years instilling the spirit of the law in God's people in the desert, iconic days and weeks were also set aside demonstrating the need for family holidays, recreation, social and civic interaction.

Ten Commandments enshrine the "sanctity of life" and involve the whole person and the whole community. It is fact and intent, including the letter and the spirit of the law. It was only because of sin, that it was lawyer-proofed by supporting legislation given through Moses.

Sin makes our hearts stony so the laws had to be written on stone, but Jeremiah said the laws written in stone would be written on human hearts (Jer 31:33). Jesus promises to do just that. When He sat down at the right hand of God, Jesus quotes Jeremiah, "I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." (Heb. 10:12, 16). And He proceeded to do just that.

So when someone says "I believe in the sanctity of life" does his own heart tell the whole story? And does your heart have the sanctity of life written into it? God does not change, so there can be no change from what he intended at the beginning. His law preserves sanctity of life, and if we want God's lifestyle, if we want to reflect Jesus, if we want to respond to God's light, His law must be written on our hearts.

When you read a person, read his or her heart. Have you read any good hearts lately that have been written with the Word of God?

Elizabeth Price

(To access the entire "Written on the Heart" mini-series, please click here.)