The Constitution, Part XI


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparge others retained by the people.

What a provision! Even in listing our rights, our Constitution itself acknowledges that not every right can fit in a list. Lists can never replace common sense, the fear of God and a practical understanding of human nature. To keep the spirit of the law, this amendment (and the next) will lend a lot of insight on the correct interpretation of law.

Here’s an example. Imagine Christmas is coming up or your birthday. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will you Father in heaven give good things to them that [claim them from] Him.There are a few things you’ve been dreaming about and so you decide to make your parents a wish list … which seems to grow … until you take it to your parents and they say “Hmm. All right. We will be sure not to get you anything that isn’t on this list.”

Imagine how you would feel. The purpose you had for making the list would have been misinterpreted to “deny” or “disparge” a large number of other good things. Our founders did not want this kind of misinterpretation to happen. They added the Ninth Amendment to clarify that the Bill of Rights lists our minimal rights not our only rights. Even as parents we know how to give what is good to our children (Matthew 7:11).

By God’s grace our relationships with our human authorities can find security on a much broader basis than the lists we make!

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