I am currently reading and studying the book of Exodus. I’ll admit that it is a little tedious and wordy, as it is full of rules for God’s people to follow as well as very specific blueprints for the construction of the Tabernacle. (The Tabernacle was the movable sanctuary where the priests were to offer regular sacrifices to God.) God was very clear in His instructions to His people, the Israelites. He was not ambiguous or confusing in His laws for them. In fact, as I read it I was profoundly thankful that I am no longer under the Law, but under grace, provided by Jesus through His death on the cross. I know that I would have had enormous trouble keeping the requirements of God’s Law. I think that it must have been difficult in the extreme, hence the need for Jesus to come and fulfill the Law. We cannot keep His Law on our own. It is impossible. Through His holy and perfect sacrifice, however, the Law is kept on our behalf! When we come to Him in faith, we become Law-abiding citizens of God’s holy kingdom. That is why I am so thankful that Jesus provided the way to make us holy and acceptable to our Father. Without Him, it would be so very difficult.
The main point of the writing of this post was to talk about something else entirely, but sometimes as I am typing I feel God leading me in a different direction than the one I started out with! My topic of the day was actually about the meaning that I pulled out of all of the rules and regulations found in Exodus. I noticed that when God gave these laws, He was quite specific about exactly how His people were to accomplish them.
I have eight children. Two of them are adults, three of them are teens, and three of them are middle and elementary school-aged. They all have chores to do and ways that their Dad and I want said chores done. Like our heavenly Father, we are very specific and clear in our methods. (Both of us being first-born might have a little something to do with that!) Anyway, when we say ,”Do it this way,” that is what we expect them to do, right? It turns out that most of them have their own idea of how these chores should be done. So while I was reading in Exodus about how specific God was with His people, it kind of reminded me of that. God’s standards are best. His ways of doing things are always best. He knows more than we do! Therefore, when His people disregarded His instructions and did it their way, He had to discipline them because they were walking in rebellion. They had a “my way is better” attitude.
I have had a particularly trying week with a couple of my kids and their lack of willingness to follow instructions, and I have reflected on the fact that I often feel like a failure if my kids don’t obey and fall in line. I’m here to tell you, however, that if you read God’s Word, you will find that even His kids disobeyed Him, and found themselves in trouble. As it breaks my heart to see my kids disrespecting me, since it represents them, by proxy, disrespecting God as well, I’m certain that it must break His heart too. Since I don’t want any of us to be breaking God’s heart, I will be diligent to keep teaching, training, and admonishing my children in the ways of God, and as He is gracious to me, I want to be gracious to them. I want to exude His love, discipline, and grace to my children that they may grow and develop in His ways. And I want to keep drawing near to God and His ways of doing things and leaving my “I’ll do it my own way” way, behind.
I hope that this has brought some encouragement to you, dear friends. Keep pressing on. Keep after your children with love, grace, and yes, discipline. Keep your own heart before the Lord God humble, contrite and open to His way. May God grant us His strength! 🙂