One of my observations of the Scriptures is how often we read God’s commands and then try to figure out “reasons” why we can’t obey them. We think that if our “reasons” sound good to us that surely God will understand. I wrote the following story to show how this kind of reasoning is really just disobedience.
There was a wealthy man who had several children. The man became terminally ill and wanted to give his fortune to the child or children who trusted him and had faith in him that he would keep his promise. He wanted to know which child loved him enough to do exactly what he said.
He decided on a simple challenge for his children. He told them that the ones who followed a certain recipe for a chocolate cake would share his fortune.
Here is the recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs slightly beaten
His children thought this was a strange thing to do, but each took the recipe and read it.
The first child read it and said, “Dad knows I am gluten intolerant. I know he didn’t mean for me to use all-purpose flour. I will use gluten free flour instead of all-purpose flour.
The next child read it and said, “I am a diabetic so I am sure Dad did not mean for me to use real sugar. I am going to use a sugar substitute.”
The next child read it and said, “I don’t like chocolate so I am going to leave it out. Dad wouldn’t want me to make something I do not like.”
The fourth child read it and said, “I think almond flavoring is better than vanilla so I am going to use almond flavoring instead.”
The next child read it and said, “My cholesterol is too high so I am going to use an egg substitute instead of real eggs.”
The sixth child read it and said, “Dad didn’t say not to decorate the cake so I’m going to put strawberries on top of the frosting.”
His last child read it and said, “I would like to add nuts, but Dad said to make it exactly like the recipe so that is what I will do.”
If you will note, nowhere were they told they had to eat the cake. They were just told to bake it. Each child based their actions and responses on their own interpretation of what their father had said.
Which child trusted his father?
Which child believed (had faith in) his father’s promise?
Which child obeyed his father exactly?
Which child got the father’s fortune?
Would all of the children have shared the fortune if they had had the faith to do exactly what their father said? Of course they would.
Now consider that the father is God. The Bible is the recipe and the fortune is eternal life. Some things God tells us to do in the Bible may seem strange, but He expects us to follow what He says exactly. Revelation 22:18-19 says “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the Holy City which are described in this book.”
God loves us all and wants all of us to receive His fortune – eternal life. “The Lord…is patient toward you not wishing that any should perish…” 2 Peter 3:9. “This is the promise that He made to us – eternal life” I John 2:25.
What will ensure that we all receive the promised fortune of eternal life? Doing exactly what we read in the Bible to do will ensure we receive eternal life. Jesus said He did exactly what God told Him to do. John 8:28-29.
If Jesus felt it was important to do exactly what God said, shouldn’t we feel the same way?
Until next time, I remain with a song in my heart.