GOD’S LAW IS NARROW
By Tom Moore
Have you ever had a religious discussion with someone with whom there was some disagreement and then the other party accuses you of being narrow-minded? What do people mean when they call another narrow-minded? By this statement most people mean that you are intolerant of other views, ideas, beliefs, actions, and ways of life. It is usually set forth in a condemning manner. Is it wrong to be narrow-minded? Must we be tolerant of all views and actions? As we look into God’s word for the answer we will discover that God’s Law is narrow, and we must be as narrow in our thinking as God’s law is narrow.
To say that God’s law is narrow means that there is no room for change. Thus, we must not add to nor take away from God’s law. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deut. 4:2). “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Pro. 30:6). “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19). Inspiration gives a warning at the beginning of the Bible, in the middle of the Bible, and at the end of the Bible not to add to nor take away from its holy precepts. My friends, God’s law is narrow.
Notice what Jesus said concerning the narrowness of God’s law, “Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it” (Mat. 7:13-14; ASV). Jesus declared that God’s law is narrow and travelling any other way than God’s narrow way leads to spiritual disappointment and destruction. Consider a few biblical examples showing that God’s law is narrow.
In the case of Adam and Eve, God’s law is seen as narrow in the specific command that He gave. The Almighty declared, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17). “You eat you die” – God’s law is narrow. Adam and Eve tried to broaden God’s law and suffered the horrible consequences.
Noah was aware of the narrowness of God’s law as he received exact instruction on how the ark was to be constructed. God gave the exact dimensions, the type of wood that was to used, how it was to be water-proofed – God stated exactly what He wanted and all else was eliminated. God’s law is narrow. But Noah did not try to broaden God’s narrow law, for the scripture declares, “Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him” (Gen. 7:5). There are great benefits to abiding by God’s narrow law as is seen in Noah’s deliverance from destruction.
God’s law is clearly narrow as is seen when Moses broadens God’s command. Israel was murmuring for water and God told Moses to “take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink” (Num. 20:8). But Moses, trying to broaden God’s command, “gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also” (Num. 20:10-11). Moses suffered severe consequences for violating God’s narrow law (Num. 20:12).
We see the narrowness of God’s word in the actions of Paul. Was Paul narrow-minded? –Yes, as narrow as God’s word. Concerning Peter, Paul “withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed” (Gal. 2:11). Was Paul narrow-minded in this action? Was Paul being intolerant when he declared, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8)? Did Paul set forth a dogmatic view when he penned, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17)? Was Paul biased in saying, “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed” (1 The. 3:14). Was Paul narrow-minded? Yes! He was as narrow as the word of God.
Notice these narrow commands of Jesus. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Mat. 7:21)? “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Mat. 19:9)? Were the commands of Jesus narrow when He said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16)? “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Mat. 15:13-14)?
Clearly, God law is narrow, and woe be unto anyone who would try to broaden the commands of the Almighty.