God entrusted us with Ten Commandments. Obedience has been described as something one does right away, all the way, and with a cheerful heart.
The endeavor to keep the Ten Commandments all the way had people adding over six hundred more laws to the original Ten. Jesus looked at “all the way” in a different way than adding more laws. Instead of adding to (in the hope of clarifying) the Law, Jesus taught a way of stopping before Commandments ever became an issue. If we do not get angry with our brother, the issue of killing does not arise. If we do not look at someone with lust, neither does the issue of adultery. If we love God, worshiping is a natural way of life and so is not using the name of God in vain.
In one of today’s readings James reminds us temptation does not come from God, but from our own desires. Desires can lead to sin, which leads to the end (or death) of something in the life we have been given.
If we start with this foundation, then Old Testament stories that seem to trouble so many atheists take on a different meaning, a new dimension. They can now be seen with how man’s desire led to the death of something and how God raises life from that death. As He does for a nation, so does He do more for us as individuals.
God is not complicated.