THE assassination of Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November of last year sparked intense debate. The assassin, a strict student of the religious law set down in the Hebrew Torah, apparently took exception to Mr. Rabin's secular implementation of that law. This brings us to the question ''What truly is God's law?''
For one thing, God's law must reflect His nature. The Bible tells us that God is good and that He is Spirit. Although in times past God has been thought of as a large and powerful father-image, mankind has begun to understand that He is Spirit. Because God is Spirit, His law must be spiritual. This law is not merely a catalog of human statutes set down by human history.
God is also omnipotent. And the fact that He is all-powerful doesn't just mean that He can do anything. It really means that He is the only one who initiates action. The book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy says, ''The divine Mind includes all action and volition, and man in Science is governed by this Mind'' (p. 187). Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science in 1866.
In absolute truth, God's law governs and controls everything that He has created. It never stops. It is always enforced. Man, God's image and likeness, cannot help but obey God's law because he is governed by God.
God created you; God created me; God created everyone. He created us to express His goodness. And He loves us equally. Therefore, it must be His will that we dwell together in peace. What parent enjoys seeing his or her children squabbling? What parent would want to learn that one child had hurt or killed another? In no instance does hatred, revenge, or murder fulfill God's law. These actions are the result of the false belief that God's children have become separate from Him. But how could that be, since God fills all space and His creation is one with Him? The sinful behavior of human beings is not a part of God's creation, and, therefore, it can be expunged; we can be saved from it.
In the Bible there is a story of an opportunity for assassination in the book of First Samuel. For years King Saul had pursued David, the slayer of Goliath and the national hero of Israel. Saul was jealous of David's popularity, and he admitted publicly that he wanted David killed. Because Saul was king, there was little David could do but hide. But then an unusual opportunity presented itself. Saul pitched his camp near one of David's hiding places and fell asleep in his tent. David's advisors told him that God had delivered Saul into his hand, and that he had every right to kill him and become king himself. But David said, ''Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless?'' (26:9)
Instead, David went stealthily past the guards into the king's tent and took some of his belongings. Later, he stood a distance off and displayed the items as tokens of his goodwill toward the king. By this, it was clear to Saul that David could have killed him. He said, ''I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly'' (verse 21). When Saul later was killed in battle, David was made king. How important for the nation that David came to his kingship, not with an assassination, but through obedience to God's law of peace!
People who don't know or feel God's power may assume it is desirable to try to crush out spirituality by killing another person. This reveals a hatred of the truth. But God is immortal. His grace and power are everlasting. Divine law is itself omnipresent and omnipotent, and this will never change. The assassination of a visionary man cannot be allowed to distract us from the vision itself.
Praying for peace in the Middle East, we can find assurance from these words of Christ Jesus: ''Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God'' (Matthew 5:9). The law of peace is God's law. It has His authority and His enforcement. All who uphold this law are doing His will, and this blesses themselves and others.