My friend was telling me about what her daughter has been doing while on safety patrol. I couldn’t stop from laughing as I imagined her giving citations to other students for not following the rules. I can see it so clearly in my mind. But after thinking about it, I realized that if I was a safety patrol girl today, I would probably do the same thing.
We have rules and order for a reason. I find myself being a stickler for following rules, especially in the areas of driving. Yes, I break rules. But I more often find myself bothered by seeing the rules being broken. I like order. I like rules. I like organization. I am not fond of chaos. I catch myself even putting things back when I am shopping because items are “not where they are meant to be.”
God from the chaos created order. He is into organization. He likes order. Read Leviticus. Read the instructions for the Temple. Read the instructions for the Ark. I could go on and on. As you read the Bible, you read again and again of little details. Specific details. There is great attention to detail. Today I pray you dig into the Word and appreciate God’s attention to detail and order. May you come to know that God cares about all of the little details in your life too.
“For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. “I am the LORD,” he says, “and there is no other” – Isaiah 45:18 [NLT]
Rules. Instructions. Decrees. Commands. Regulations. Directives. Orders. Laws. Statutes. Stipulations. Guidelines. Directions. Requirements. Ordinances. Mandates. What words that bring us joy! Not usually. Many people skip over instructions. Some people try to figure out a way to break the rules or twist the laws. Some people barely like to make the requirements. Ordinances really do not include me. But in Psalm 19, David speaks about God’s Commandments “bringing joy to the heart.”
David says many things in today’s verses. He uses the words: perfect, trustworthy, right, and clear. I love this description. There’s no twisting His commands. There’s no way to barely follow. There’s no chance that it doesn’t include me. We typically think of rules as a negative—as a way to restrict us from doing what we would like, but look at how David describes the instructions of the Lord. They REVIVE THE SOUL. They MAKE WISE THE SIMPLE. They BRING JOY TO THE HEART.
Finally, he says they are clear—they GIVE INSIGHT FOR LIVING and they BRING JOY TO THE HEART. We look at so many self-help books and watch so many videos on how to do things. But everything is right here for us—and the Lord’s instructions are CLEAR. Why do we make it so complicated? Today, consider what the Lord’s instructions mean to you. When you start seeing the reason the Lord gave them to us, you will start to have this JOY that David spoke about in this psalm. You will start to say, “He loves me THAT much” and “He cares for me THAT much” – and it will bring joy to your heart. As your love grows, you will start to find joy in all of the Lord’s commands. You will even enjoy reading Leviticus.
“The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.” – Psalm 19:7-8 [NLT]
When you consider the phrase “they are your life” you might be able to substitute the word “they” for many different things. Someone might say “spouse” or “kids.” Others might say “career” or “education.” Some people would say “money” or “fitness.” Today’s verse is speaking of words that were spoken—words that were given to the Israelites to obey. With obedience came long life.
We do not like the word “obedience.” It does not always appear to be fun and it is not always easy. It might require going against the grain. It might require losing some friends or having to decline some invitations. It does not always look appealing, yet the commands we are given are ALWAYS given for our benefit. Here the text promises a long life.
Today’s verse applies to us just as it did to the Israelites. The words God has for us – the promises, the commands – they are not empty words. We can build our lives around them and we will “enjoy a long life.” The life we enjoy is an eternal life with Jesus Christ. What a beautiful promise!
“These instructions are not empty words–they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you will occupy when you cross the Jordan River.” – Deuteronomy 32:47 [NLT]
I love candles. Not only do they provide a calming atmosphere and a nice scent, but they also add some warmth to my home during this cold winter season. When I went to light up my one candle this morning, I realized that the wick was missing. I didn’t follow the instructions on the candle. The directions explained the need to trim the wick and the importance of only burning a candle for a few hours. I did not listen. I figured something as simple as a candle didn’t require instructions. Now my wick was missing. My candle was useless without the wick.
In life, we have God’s Word so easily accessible to us and yet there are so many times when we ignore His Word for whatever reason. We end up taking some bad turns, digging ourselves into a whole, making some mistakes. My candle wick was only missing. I took a screwdriver and I was able to locate the wick. If you have been ignoring God, do not think that you cannot humble yourself and come before Him now. No matter what mess you have made, what problems are weighing you down, what wrong turns you have taken in life, God can redeem you. He can cleanse you. He can make you a new creation. All you need to do is draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.
Right now, my candle is burning bright. Allow God to shine His light in your life—and see how much greater life can be when He is at the center.
“And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” – Colossians 1:20-22 [ESV]