From the beginning, God assumed the role of menu-maker for the human race. His earliest command came bundled with a carefully crafted meal plan. Specific terms governed Adam and Eve’s diet. Life and death hinged on their compliance. In contrast, God’s mandate to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” did not specify parameters for sexual behavior. The command to “subdue” and “rule” did not come with a moral code for justice. Nonetheless, eating a forbidden fruit earned the death penalty.
At epic season changes throughout history, God stipulated a new menu to facilitate progress in our relationship. His commands emphasize perfecting our love rather than perfecting our behavior.
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him (1 John 2:5 ESV)
While the rules may have changed, His goal remains the same―to draw us closer to Him.
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:18-19 ESV)