Deuteronomy 4:2 – “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – It sometimes seems that God’s commands would be so much better if we cut a little here or added a little there. God’s laws are there for a reason. Our changing them (or reinterpreting them) may suit our fancy but they will not change the truth.
My Advice – When you find yourself wanting to add to, subtract from or otherwise tinker with God’s clear directives, always ask yourself why? The answer is not because God’s laws are wrong or outdated. Usually it is because we want to justify ourselves. It seems to us that it is easier to modify the standard than it is to modify our behavior.
If They Knew
Numbers 32:23 – “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – If we knew we would get caught, we likely not take the risk. Yet with sin we do it all the time. We can never get away with it.
My Advice – As you make decisions in life, big or small, think of the people who are most important to you and ask yourself this question: “would it make a difference if they knew?” Assume that they will and use that as a guide in making the decision.
Count The Cost
Numbers 22:18 – But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – No gain can compensate us for going against God’s will. That price is too high.
My Advice – There will be times that you will be tempted to do things that you know are not right, whether in your career or your personal life. The pay-offs may seem spectacular (possessions, power, position, prestige) and well worth the risk. They are not. Obedience, morality and staying true to your character, a child of God, is much more valuable.
Right Thing, Right Way, Right Reason
Leviticus 19:5 – When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We know that the world is full of people who do the wrong thing. There are also many who may be doing the right thing, but in the wrong way or with the wrong intent. This may be just as bad as doing the wrong thing.
My Advice – It is not enough to do the right thing. Do it the right way and with the right motive. But never use this as an excuse, however, to do the wrong thing (or to not do the right thing).
Take A Stand
Exodus 23:2 – “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We know what is right and what is wrong. God has put it in our heart and He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. But it seems so hard to do what is right when everyone else is doing what is wrong. But morality is not a democracy. No matter how many may call a wrong right, it will not make it right.
My Advice – Be courageous. Do not be timid in taking your stand even when everyone else is against you. If you know in your heart it is right, God will give you the strength to stand against all odds. If God is for you, who can be against you?
Did God Really Say
Genesis 3:1, 4 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Satan does not often start with outright contradiction of God’s Word. First, he calls us to question it (‘did God really say?”). This may be combined with distortion or misinterpretation of the Word (“you must not eat from any tree?”) that makes God seem unreasonable. Eventually he will take us where he wanted to all along – disagreeing with God’s Word (“you will not.”)
My Advice – Be careful with teachings and philosophies that question, distort, misinterpret, manipulate or contradict God’s Word. They may be subtle and seem small and innocent enough, but if we give Satan a foothold, He will always lead us into something bigger and much less innocent.