Boundaries From Above
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Did your parents ever instruct you not to talk to strangers or not to eat food at anyone else’s home? Or maybe you can remember countless warnings of “Do not…” As children, we had no earthly idea what the big deal was, but we knew enough to obey!
As parents tasked with training up our children, we too, offered the same instructions: “Do not!" When my daughter was a child, she reached up and put her hand on a hot stove. I still cringe thinking about it because she was really in pain.
Deuteronomy 13-15 is filled with wise prohibitions. We may not comprehend the “why” of the instructions, but life tends to fare better when we give heed to them. Just as our parents loved and set boundaries for us, so did the Lord. Our Heavenly Father provided practical wisdom that would secure our future. He did not want us hurt.
Who but our Heavenly Father would care enough to warn us about things like stranger danger, prophets, dreamers, or even family members who would lure us away from Him and into sin? No one was excluded from His watchful eye: not kings, prophets, dreamers, spouses, siblings, parents, or friends. No one!
"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him” (Deuteronomy 13:1–4 ESV).
The chapter progresses to include family and community members as potential culprits. The Lord is no respecter of persons. Serving other gods posed a grave danger for everyone. Over time, it could lead to extinction (as seen in the Northern Kingdom). The Lord had to protect and preserve the future.
This is the way it was for me with my daughter. My heart was to preserve her as healthy and whole for her future. That red-hot stove proved a great temptation which she did not resist and suffered the consequences.
Our Heavenly Father’s heart, filled with love, necessitates that He set rules in place to protect us. His goal is not to keep us from enjoying life but to keep us safe.
Let us pray. Father, help us trust and obey You even when we do not understand or are in pain. Let us always remember that You love us deeply and more than we may ever know. May we always delight to do Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
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