Over the years I have discovered that many people see God’s Word as a rule book. When they read it or when it is shared with them, they perceive it as a long list of “do’s” and “don’ts”.
I guess in some ways the Bible is a list of good behaviors to practice and bad habits to quit. However, when we see it as a rule book, our human nature approaches it like a warning sign. Warning signs create two types of reactions:
1) A person accepts the warning sign and follows it out of fear or agitation. They feel that if they ignore it something bad will happen. Logically that may be correct, but I don’t think this is the way God wants us to read His Word. Moral and spiritual bullying does not bring about a healthy, fulfilling relationship with Christ.
2) A person perceives the warning sign as a dare. They look at it and think, “I’ll show you. I’ll do what I want.” Or, maybe they see the warning as an infringement upon their personal rights. They say, “Who is God to tell me how I should live my life?” These individuals end up ignoring God’s word because it offends them. Without the revelation of Jesus Christ as found in the Word of God, this person is doomed to be separated from God.
God’s Word does have warnings, but it is not a warning sign. God’s Word is more like a reward sign. Reward signs communicate that if we do something right, we will be rewarded.
In Psalms 19:7-8 we are told four rewards we will receive if we will follow God’s Word. (I have put in bold print the rewards.)
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.
I don’t know about you, but those four rewards are in high demand. Would you like for your soul to be revived during this challenging time? Would you appreciate some wisdom for the decisions you need to make? How about some joy in the midst of all hardships we are enduring? What about insight for living in a Covid-19 world?
All of this is available for you and me today. It is found in reading and applying God’s Word to our lives. The psalmist goes on to say in verse 11…
They [the Scriptures] are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.
The Bible has warnings, but more importantly it promises relevant rewards to anyone who puts into practice its instructions, decrees, and commands.
Many of us are learning to live with the Shelter-at-Home orders and discovering we have some extra time on our hands. It is a prime opportunity to read God’s Word, apply it, and be rewarded.
I double-dog-dare you to try it.
Here is a song I’ve been listening to that encourages me. I hope it does the same for you.