Strange Laws for Strange People

There are some pretty strange laws out there.

In Oklahoma it is against the law to spit on the sidewalk. I’m not sure what the penalty is. I do know that the penalty for making an ugly face at a dog is a fine or jail sentence. I guess the sentence depends on just how ugly a face you make.

Image © Lars Justinen from

In Texas it is against the law to milk another person’s cow, or to shoot a buffalo from the second floor of a hotel. In Alaska it is considered an offense to shove a live moose out of an airplane.

While these laws sound pretty crazy, if we searched the history behind them, some of them might start to make sense. For example, someone at one time in Alaska must have tried to shove a moose out of an airplane. Spitting on the sidewalk may seem innocent enough, until your ten-year-old son walks barefoot down a sidewalk after a man with a hacking cough just passed by! Making an intimidating face at a dog that brings it to the point of violent frustration is not very considerate either. So we have come up with millions of laws, some of them quite bizarre, just because there are people out there who have no consideration for others.

In heaven Lucifer rebelled against God’s law of love. He thought a lawless society would be better. Well, guess what? The more lawless a society becomes, the more laws it needs.

The Spirit of God’s law is simple:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  Luke 10:27

Judging by the way he behaved towards innocent creatures, Lucifer must have thought being considerate of your Creator and His created beings was too much to ask for. Not true. If we had always respected our Creator and His creatures we would not need the millions of strange laws we have today. If we loved others and were thoughtful of their needs, we would not need a law book at the courthouse telling us we can’t spit on the sidewalk or take milk from our neighbor’s cow. Likewise if we would just love our spouses we would not need divorce laws, alimony laws, child custody laws, child support laws or restraining orders.

I don’t think that it’s strange lawmakers who create strange laws, but rather strange and selfish behavior that is their source. In the Old Testament are laws that some people find strange. For example, why did God have to give this command in Leviticus 20:2?

Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death.

If parents would have just been faithful to their children we would never have needed this law. It is not God who was strange, thus requiring a strange law but rather a strange society that was the cause. Strange and unnatural laws are necessary for a society that does not have natural love. The laws created by natural love are simple and brief, written on our hearts so that obeying them comes naturally.

God’s law could be as simply stated this, “Have a heart, people!” And with that one simple law being accomplished we would need no other law, for having a heart for God and his creatures would make laws about offering your children to Molech and shooting buffalo from the second floor of a hotel totally unnecessary.

Posted in 2014b Christ and the Law, Feature Tagged , permalink

About William Earnhardt

William Earnhardt has been a Bible Worker, literature evangelist and lay pastor in Oklahoma and Texas, before coming to the Tampa Bay area, where he has been a Bible instructor and lay pastor for the past 12 years. He has also held revivals and evangelism seminars, as well as soul winning workshops from Peru to Connecticut. You can find William's study guides and devotionals at


Strange Laws for Strange People — 9 Comments

  1. Simple as that. I really enjoyed this article. Thank you very much. I think this is crucial for understanding Leviticus.

  2. Thanks indeed. The article a hint on how complicated society is and will always be. There are complicated human beings out there who need complicated and strange for them to put them in line. Oh how good this world would be if we all relied on the simplicity of God laws of love.

  3. This article has made me now understand how the many strange laws were made. I have been wondering why some of those rules and regulations in Leviticus existed. Thank you for taking your time to explain through that article.

  4. William, Shabbat Shalom.
    Thank you ever so much for making the bible literature accessible to all. I celebrate God in the way his Spirit gives us different gifts. Allow me to make one obervation that even though the lack of Love for God and for our neighbours is the root of all these strange laws, even after we,re born twice in Christ that is to say, even after we,re born from above by the Spirit of God, we still cannot love God as heaven expect of us. God does not blame us for failing to love Him or our neighbours as ourselves, for the law is holy, good and perfect in its intrinsic nature. That is why we have laws of the state (nation) and bliblical and church laws to show us the constant need to be good. But there is none good except God. Our failure to love god after we,re born again reminds us of what it means to love by pointing us to Christ,s perfect life in obedience to the perfect law of God and his sacrificial death which did not only demonstrate thw love of God for humanity but the love for his immutable moral laws. This will help us in two ways: 1. That we should strive to love God and our neighbkurs. However, since we cannot love both God and our neighbours perfectly, we can say like Paul in Roman 7.25 thanks to God of our Lord Jesus Christ

    • Joseph it is impossible for us to love the way God loves on our own but with God all things are possible. Look at Moses willing to have his name wiped out of the book of life if it would save others.

  5. William, I really like this article probably because I puts the monkey back where it really belongs, on the backs of sinners. I also like the explanation for the large number of laws. I think that is so true.

    While I say amen to that maybe we should also recognize that even without sin there are valid reasons for laws. For instance suppose there wasn’t a law that said which side of the road to drive on or what speed to go at; what would happen?

    To me laws define relationships and provide order rather than chaos. What would it be like if there was no law that said how gravity worked or how the planets move around the Sun? We all need conventions that puts everyone on the same page. As scripture says, “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Cor 14:33 NKJV). We are not to be part of Babylon (confusion) – we are to come out her (Rev 18:4) and not be lawless like many of those in the world.

    It is because we need an agreed upon order that laws are made for without them there would be nothing but chaos and nothing useful would ever be accomplished. It might also be that some laws need more refinement than others so that people will know exactly what the convention is.

  6. William,
    Thank you for responding to my comments. I must acknowledge that I enjoy reading your comments in this wonderful ssnet. God bless the management. Now, returning to the contested idea of obedience to the law of Love a.k.a the law of Christ, I insist that even after we're born again with the new heart transplanted by faith, we Cannot Love God or our Neighbours perfectly in this life. This is the reason that John the Apostle at his old age was able to write in John 1:18, 'no one has seen God at anytime except the Son to whom God is revealed' (my translation). There is no better text in the NT that explain our predicament than this. One would even say that the Bible shows that Moses spoke to God face to face. Was John amnesiac during the authorship of the gospel? Surely not. God the Holy Spirit controlled this authorship. The simple reason for such text is tha sin impaired our ability to see God in his beauty. If that was not the case then there was no need for God to tabernacle in Mary as an emblem/foretaste of future dwelling with those who will receive Him as God the Son. We need to understand our limit so that we can appreciate the limitless God, our finite to acknowledge the infinite God. We need to recognize our weaknesses in order to cling onto God,s unceasing strength. Then the hope for future glory for those who will receive the Son of God because faith.

  7. Sorry Joseph :), but I must stick with my first answer. Not only did Moses manifest such love but Revelation 15 talks about a whole multitude of people who have experienced and reflected the same love that Jesus the Lamb and Moses have reflected. Let's not put limits on the power of God's love. With God all things are possible and many have made the sacrifice of laying down their lives for a friend, of which Jesus says "there is no greater love." John 15:13

  8. If law cannot do anything then that law cannot do anything. We have to make sre that the law is working properly. Nice post!


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