Lone Grove, Oklahoma
Paul teaches us that there is much for us to learn from the Old Testament.
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
I can go to any book in the Old Testament and show you great examples for us to follow. We are also given some great wisdom about God and His people. I want to you to consider the following Scriptures:
Numbers 15:38 “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. 39 “And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40 “and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.
When you read through the Old Testament, you will find many things the children of Israel built as a memorial to remember certain events. However, most of these were at a specific location so you would not see them very often. However, you would wear your garment every day. God wanted them to make tassels on the corners of their garments and to put a blue thread in them. This would serve as a daily reminder for God’s people to keep the Lord’s commandments. It was also designed to remind them each day to not allow their own desires or what they feel is right to govern their lives. No, they are to allow God’s commands to be their guide.
This is a great lesson for Christians today. Now, I am not suggesting that we start putting on a garment every day with tassels and a blue thread. However, I think we should find something to focus on that will be a daily reminder of how we need to focus on living for God. One of the most important things I want you to glean from what God told the Children of Israel is that He wanted them and He wants us to pay attention to what His Word teaches and He wants us to follow what it says.
Today, many are focused on what they feel is right that they allow their feelings to be their guide. They don’t really care what God’s Word says about a matter if it feels right in their hearts. When we start thinking this way, we are going to get ourselves into a lot of trouble with God. Consider what Jeremiah said:
Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Do you have any idea how many people have tried to justify sin by saying it felt right? While I could give you example after example from the Bible of those who make this same claim, the apostle Paul has always ranked up high on my list. He tried to destroy Christianity, and he was responsible for the deaths of Christians. He did all this with a clear conscience because he felt like he was doing the right thing in his heart of hearts, but we all know he was wrong. Do you remember what Jesus said to Him on the road to Damascus?
Acts 9:4Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
Paul was a smart man. He knew what the Scriptures taught about Jesus, but he continued to let his heart guide him. As Jesus points out, it was hard for him to kick against the goads. In other words, God’s Word was like a pointy stick that was jabbing at his heart every time he heard what the Christians were proclaiming. It is a shame that it took Jesus Himself to wake Paul up to get him to stop following his heart, but that is what it took.
If you are like Paul and you find yourself believing what you want to because it feels right in your heart of hearts, I hope you will allow God’s Word to prick you in the heart and that it will cause you to change your ways. Stop kicking against the goads and accept the fact that your feelings will deceive you. The only way you can be right with God is by allowing God’s Word to be your guide. I understand that God’s Word may be hard to follow at times, and you may even feel that God is wrong, but I can promise you, He is not. So, find something like that blue thread in your life that will remind you daily about God and why it is important to keep His commandments (Jn. 14:15).