Bible Reading: Psalm 119:1-6
Happy are those who obey [God’s] decrees. Psalm 119:2
TRY THIS EXPERIMENT the next time it’s raining really hard outside:
1. Select two friends to help with the experiment; it helps if one of your friends is not too bright (the reason for that will become clear in a moment).
2. Send both friends out into the rainstorm. Equip one friend with a large umbrella, and send the other (the not-so-bright one) out into the rain without an umbrella or raincoat.
3. Tell your friends to walk around in the pouring rain; call them back inside after two minutes have elapsed.
4. See who gets wettest!
Now, this may not sound like much of an experiment. You can probably figure out how the experiment will turn out all by yourself, right? You don’t have to be “Bill Nye the Science Guy” to figure out that the friend with the umbrella will stay pretty dry, while your other friend will get soaked, right?
That experiment, however simple (or stupid) it may seem, illustrates the value of umbrellas. When you put up an umbrella, it shields you from the rain. But if you choose to move out from under that umbrella during a storm, you’re sure to get wet.
God’s commandments are like an umbrella. As long as you stay under the umbrella of God’s commands, you’ll be shielded from many consequences. If you step out from under that protective cover, however, you should not be surprised if you suffer the consequences.
For example, if you obey God’s commands to not steal, not cheat one another, and not lie (Leviticus 19:11), you’ll be under the protective umbrella of his commands. But if you ignore those commands, you expose yourself to all sorts of unpleasant consequences. If you disobey his command not to steal, you might get caught stealing and end up in a chain gang. If you defy his command not to cheat, you might get kicked out of school, ending your hopes of a career in nuclear physics. If you ignore his command not to lie, you might lose the trust of your friends and family.
Seriously, disobeying God’s commands can result in all sorts of bad things even when you don’t get caught (things like guilt, shame, mistrust, broken relationships, unhealthy behaviors, and so on). That’s why God gave you those commands in the first place-for your protection.
So next time you go out in the rain, don’t forget your umbrella.
REFLECT: Think of a time when you were protected by obeying God’s commands. Name specific ways you can stay under the umbrella of his protection today.
PRAY: “God, thank you for your commandments. Help me to understand how they protect me. Show me how to obey you today, especially when_______________________.”