Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Am Not Skilled To Understand"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 71:17-18 – O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, till I proclaim thy might to all the generations to come. (RSV)
At 84, I think of childhood days, and some events come vividly to mind. There came a time when my parents bought a building lot from a farmer just on the other side of the river where we lived. The foundation for our new home was made of cement, and wood was cut, ready to be taken to a sawmill to put up the walls. My dad made a bridge out of lumber to get to the lot faster. Otherwise, the crossing was further away where a bridge was adequate for trucks, busses, and horses with heavy wagons.
Dad's bridge was made with posts on each shore and two in the narrow river, with a rope for a handrail. One day when the river was deep and swiftly flowing, I was going to cross over, but my dad saw me and sternly stopped me. The river was too dangerous to cross on that bridge. I was instructed to take the longer way to watch our home being built.
There were many other times when my dad said "No" to me: not to go swimming alone; not to go on thin ice; not to go too far from home. Not just my dad, but the whole village had eyes on all us kids as a form of neighbourhood watch. They were our trainers for the way we should go. The voices we heard were for our own good. One lesson at a time, we were taught to recognize right and wrong, to use good sense as a God-given treasure, and to become responsible and trusted citizens. I think of it all as the voice of God through our God-fearing teachers, caring parents, and community.
I appreciate these early instructions as a foundation based on God's Word, which shows the state of fallen human beings and the way of salvation. God's love for law and order in His Word is clear and calls for discipline and obedience to honour His instructions in the Book that guide us throughout our journey in this life with its challenges, trials, and toils. God's "No" is for our protection and safety, and when we let God rule our heart with His "Yes" and "No", we are trusting Him and the care He has for our good. In so doing, we find abundant comfort and joy in our living.
God's Word is rich in lessons, and when we follow them, we find life rich in godly pleasures and blessings. There is a saying that it is a beautiful day when God touches it. I would add that it is a beautiful life when God touches it!
1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (NIV)
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, thank You for Your voice that warns us about the dangers that the evil one spreads in our way. Thank You, Jesus, for overcoming the evil one and defeating death. Because of You, we are born of God's grace. Thank You for telling us "No!" for our safety. May all glory and honour be to You, O God, forever! Thankfully, in Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.