Law can be a blessing and means of grace. A country may be wealthy in terms of natural resources, but it will be a land of deepest poverty without good laws widely obeyed.
Law can, however, come to be an “embodiment of estrangement.”
Consider a married couple who’ve drifted apart over the years. One of the partners may sense the distance and try to bridge it. But the other unwilling may respond in denial, checking off the list of duties that were half-humorously passed on by parents-in-law at their wedding.
At that point, the checklist ceases to be an aid to living well together. Instead, it has become the very representation of the estrangement at hand– a tool to keep the other from getting too close.
Israel had that experience with the Mosaic Law. At first, it was understood as a means of grace whereby Israel could live before God. Eventually though, it deteriorated into the very substance of Israel’s separation from God.
The only solution was to expose such law keeping for what it really was– the embodiment of a disordered relationship.
That’s still true today for vertical relationships between God and man and horizontal relationships between men and women.