I read an amusing, yet thought-provoking, children’s story recently. The tale revolves around a young, adventurous raccoon named Adam. Adam’s curiosity is aroused when he is the recipient of a large crate containing all the parts necessary to construct a fabulous flying machine. Wow, Adam has always wanted to fly! With instruction book in hand, and with the assistance of a good friend, Ernest Turtle, Adam embarks on his construction adventure. Unfortunately, Adam is coyly convinced by a lofty professor to abandon the complicated instruction manual and follow this simple rule: Do whatever feels right to you. Of course, disaster soon ensues as the completed contraption sputters, pops, and ultimately plummets to the ground. The young raccoon learned an important lesson on the urgency of following instructions.
The story brought a grin to my face, and conviction to my heart. How often am I guilty of the same disregard and abandonment of the blessed instruction Book given to me by my Father, as I rebelliously choose to do that which feels right to me? It can happen to any of us, regardless of maturity or motives. Even a “man after God’s own heart,” the shepherd-king David, fell into that deceitful trap.
After solidifying his position as king of Israel following the downfall, defeat, and demise of King Saul, David desired to restore the blessed Ark of the Covenant to its rightful position in Jerusalem, after its gloomy, fifty-year hiatus due to the Philistines. But in the midst of his excitement, David forgets that God’s work needs to be done God’s way, and David instead utilizes a method straight out of the Philistine’s playbook, placing the Ark “upon a new cart.” Misfortune immediately ensues. When the cart falters, a man named Uzziah reaches his hand out in reflex to steady the Ark, touching that sacred symbol of God’s holiness. As a vivid, yet poignant, reminder that disobedience comes with dreadful wages, “God smote him (Uzziah) there,” and Uzziah’s life was tragically brought to an end.
The sweet psalmist “was angered” at the death of Uzziah. The joy of obedience was temporarily replaced by the ugly fruits of disobedience. But David regroups, and takes a second opportunity to move the Ark back to Jerusalem, but he will not make the same mistake twice. This time David will follow the explicate instructions set down in God’s Word. After the Levites “sanctified themselves,” they “bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.” They did God’s work God’s way, succeeded in the task at hand, and the resulting joy infected David and the entire population of Jerusalem.
As we spend time in the ultimate instruction Book, as we master those precepts and statutes, as we allow His Word to master us, we realize that within our grasp a wondrous treasure chest of benefits. But those benefits hinge upon our obedience, our willingness to “keep thy law continually for ever and ever.” As I allow my heart to “be sound in thy statutes,” “when I have respect unto all thy commandments,” as I seek to “meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways,” I will make my way prosperous, and find “good success” in my feeble attempts to serve Him. May we always be found with His instruction Book held firmly in our hands and rooted deeply within our hearts. May we this learn a lesson from an fictitious, silly raccoon and a true-life king: follow the instructions!
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-3669-62bbf07172d80' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=3669&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-3669-62bbf07172d80' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-3669-62bbf07172d80' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>