A few weeks ago while reading the Bible, I was studying 1 Kings 6:1-13. I stopped at verse 13 and wondered to myself “What are God’s statutes?” God promises Solomon that He will fulfill with him the promise He made to his father, David, if Solomon “will walk in [his] statutes and obey [his] rules and keep all [his] commandments and walk in them” (1 Kings 6:12). Then God further promises that He will live with Israel and will not forsake them.
Well, that sounded good to me, and I really wanted to follow God’s statutes as a way to honor Him for saving me, so I pursued the word statutes by referencing the concordance in the back of my ESV Bible.
Exodus 15:25-26 “…There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, saying, ‘If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.’”
God’s Statutes: listen to God’s voice; do what God considers to be right; listen to his commandments; keep his statutes
Again, there is the command to “keep all his statutes.” Why the redundancy? What are the statutes?
Deuteronomy 6:1-9 “‘Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
According to verse 1, God’s commandments are his rules and statutes – so pretty much anything God says in the Bible. Commandments, rules, and statutes seem to be interchangeable according to this verse.
God’s Commandments (Rules and Statutes): love God with your heart, soul, and might
The above is the “commandment” (notice in verse one it says commandment not commandments). The actions that follow are extra: have them in your heart; teach them to your children; do them; put them on your hand, write them on your door frames and on your gates. These actions will naturally follow loving God (I have even written Bible references on my hand as a reminder a few times); however, the actual commandment is to love God totally.
Psalm 119:1-8 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!”
God’s Statutes: God’s law and testimonies; seek God entirely; commit no wrong; walk in God’s ways; fix your eyes on God’s commandments; God’s righteous rules
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “…I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
God’s Statutes: obey God’s rules
According to this verse, God is giving Ezekiel his Spirit to help him obey God’s statutes. This gift is mirrored in the New Testament when God sends his Holy Spirit to those who believe in Jesus Christ’s resurrection: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). God gives you the Holy Spirit to help you walk in His statutes, but you must make sure to be filled with the spirit daily (Ephesians 5:18).
In short, below is a list of what I have found the Bible to say are God’s statutes.
- Love God (with your heart, soul, and might) – by loving God in such a way, everything else will follow.
- Listen to God’s voice and His commandments.
- Seek God entirely; focus on His commandments.
- Do what God considers to be right; walk in God’s ways.
- Obey God’s laws, testimonies, and righteous rules.
- Commit no wrong.
The purpose of this post is to simply group together what I have gleaned from the Bible about God’s statutes so that I may obey him – “that my ways may be steadfast in keeping [God’s] statutes” as David cried out – and blogged in hopes that it may help someone else, too (Psalm 119:5). It is a sort of outline to clarify the topic of God’s wonderful statutes, which I believe are in place to help us and to mold us to be more like Him. My intentions are not to add to or take away from God’s Word.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.