Morals were meant to be beneficial. When God gave the first commands to Moses, they were intended as a kind of treasure map guiding us to bounty and plenty. If you go back and look at the rules of Moses’ law, you will find many of them to be practical and beneficial. The priestly sacrifices had a concrete spiritual function as well, but that’s a discussion for another time. All moral rules—from the Bible, that is—are practical and sensible.
Cold and boring religious ruts trap people into useless routine. Once we lose touch with the practical value of morals, we begin thinking of them as silly hoops to jump through, as if God is testing whether we will comply with arbitrary requirements and, if we do, then He will interrupt the natural flow of life and “reward” us. This may be the thinking of people who wish to redefine laws of physics for people under their control, but God’s moral laws are different.
God created the universe. He defined laws of physics. He invented biology. Also, He invented and implemented principles of “sowing and reaping”, whether in agriculture or “good luck” returning to those who are gracious and diligent. Since God designed those ideas and wove them into the fabric of our reality, He knows how they work better than anyone else. This is yet one more reason why a useful moral code can only come from above. But, it also explains what morals are: practical measures to navigate the cosmos.
Loving your neighbor just as yourself should seem sensible. Don’t bear false witness against the innocent, don’t covet, don’t murder, “eye for an eye”, and all Deuteronomy taught safety to a society with neither morals nor soap. When Joshua received Moses’ Law, God told him that obeying it would cause Israel to prosper and thrive—dah!
Most everyone agrees that moral are supposed to somehow benefit people who obey them, but it is a well-kept secret in Churchianity that Biblical rules are practical and sensible. We don’t always see the practicality because we are always learning, but it is still there. Impractical “religious morals” are man-made; Heavenly morals just make sense.
Exodus 20:16-17, Deuteronomy 4:1, Psalm 119:32, Proverbs 6:16-20, Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 12:29-31