Are God's Commandments Too Hard?
- For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3)
There are some who embrace a theology that paints God as arbitrary and unfair. Some have told me that God, in His sovereignty, indeed gives us commandments that are impossible to obey. Oh what a blight this puts upon the love of God. However, the Bible itself speaks quite differently on this subject. John. under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us that God's commandments are NOT grievous.
The Greek word for "grievous" is "barue" which means "violent, cruel, unsparing." Is this a description of God's commands? The apostle says, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." (Romans 7:12) How can something that God says is "just" be seen as "violent, cruel, and unsparing".
The Easy to Read Version renders 1 John 5:3, "Loving God means obeying his commands. And God’s commands are not too hard for us." The New International Reader's Version says, "In fact, here is what it means to love God. We love him by obeying his commands. And his commands are not hard to obey." God told the Israelites:
- Deut. 30:11-14
- 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
- 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
- 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
- 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT.
God's commands are able to be obeyed, He does not give unjust commands or commands that are impossible to obey. To say otherwise is a clear contradiction of His Word and borders on blasphemy. Be blessed as you do the commands of God.