Today’s Tasting: Exodus 22-24: “10Plant and harvest your crops for six years, 11but let the land be renewed and lie uncultivated during the seventh year. Then let the poor among you harvest whatever grows on its own. Leave the rest for wild animals to eat. The same applies to your vineyards and olive groves. 12You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working. This gives your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It also allows your slaves and the foreigners living among you to be refreshed. 13Pay close attention to all my instructions. You must not call on the name of any other gods. Do not even speak their names. “25You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. 26There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives … 32Make no treaties with them or their gods. 33They must not live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me. If you serve their gods, you will be caught in the trap of idolatry” (Exodus 23: 10-13, 25-26, 32-33 NLT).
Today’s Nourishment: Rules, rules, rules! We all have times in our lives when we are fed up with rules and regulations, when the standards we are expected to live up to seem to be extraordinarily high or unattainable, when the mere thought of rules can make your mind tired and your spirit weary. The great news is that when we begin to consider the things of God, and as we grow to learn more about Him, we learn that His rules are not just about restrictions. Rather, they are guidelines that can help our paths grow easy and keep our ways straight. God loves us so much that He sets a map in place, to protect our relationship with Him and keep us from things that could cause us trouble, distress, or harm.
I believe God’s laws are not just rules, but His “map” to reveal choices–choices that might negatively affect our lives to reap consequences. His Love for us is reflected in His laws. A person who loves you seeks to keep you from harm and prays that no evil come your way. If a person extends love in such a way, then how much more might our sovereign God, who loves us, seek to protect, guide, and keep us from harm?
It’s amazing that God didn’t just set up rules to warn us about things that will hurt us; He also took care to instruct us about things that will help us. God ordained His people to work for six days and take one day to rest. He knows that rest is essential for us to clear our minds for the situations we face in our daily lives. Taking time renew and refresh also allows us to remain connected to God and to recognize His voice.
The next time you’re inclined to disregard His “map” of rules or standards consider what it might accomplish or how it might bring destruction in your life. Always remember that God provides information, understanding, and guidance through His love. He also empowers us, by His Spirit, to choose rightly and to reveal the consequences of disobedience.
Loving the Lord with all that you are and can possible be, and loving others as yourself is the key to walking in obedience to Him.
As you reflect on Today’s Tasting, how will you respond to the standards of conduct expected of us as we live a Christian lifestyle? Have you been taking the time to rest and refresh your spirit in order to love God with all that you are and love others as yourself?
Tomorrow’s Delight: Exodus 25-27
Sonyita S. Connor-Clemons
Twitter: @sonyitais & @mastermoneymgmt