Did God Say So?

 Adults can learn a lot from chilMother talking to her childrendren.  Just watch young siblings interact sometime.  One will start to do something and the other will say, “Mommy said not to do that!”  Or there will be a disagreement and one will go to a parent and come back pronouncing the solution to the disagreement with a sentence beginning with “Daddy said…”

  Children usually understand that they ought to do what their parents say to do, and that they should not do what their parents say not to do.  Children also understand that they do not have the right to give one another permission to do things.  Admittedly, children don’t always bother to get permission from parents, but they usually know that they should.

  Children are humble enough to know that they are permitted to do something only if Mommy or Daddy “say so.” They KNOW that they are not in charge. This attribute of children is part of what Jesus was wanting from all of us when he said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4).

  Children of God need desperately to realize that we are only permitted to do something if our heavenly Father says so.

  Many passages of scripture teach the need for children of God to rely upon His “say so”. Balaam recognized this need in Numbers 22:18 when he told the messengers from Balak that “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.”  Colossians 3:17 requires that  “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” In Proverbs 30:6 the wise man said,  “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” Yet, despite these scriptures and others which could be cited, we continue to hear those who are supposed to be God’s children claim that “we do (or can do) many things for which we have no authority.”  This is tantamount to saying, “God did not say so, but we are going to do it anyway!”

  This attitude explains a lot that’s going on among churches and in the lives of Christians today, doesn’t it?

  May God help us to develop a true child-like humility.  Before we give ourselves permission to follow our own desires, let us all stop and ask, “Did God say so?”

— Steve Klein

Where is it Written in Stone?

  Our culture deplores unchangeable rules.  We don’t like prohibitions and restrictions, and so we want to be able to alter or eliminate them.  This attitude is so prevalent that some advertisers actually try to attract buyers with slogans like “no rules, just right” or “the rules have changed.” 

  Often those desiring to change rules will ask, “Where is it written in stone” that something must be done a certain way?  The implication is that if it isn’t written in stone, it wasn’t meant to be permanent to begin with, and it is therefore subject to change.   The question, “Where is it written in stone?” expresses the desire of man’s heart to change rules or procedures.

  So, rules are changed constantly in virtually every area of modern life.  Some are changed because they are bad or inadequate; but just as often, they are changed because it’s inconvenient to keep them, they aren’t being kept anyway, or somebody complained enough.

  The rules or laws God gave the Israelites in ancient times actually were written in stone.  They were literally delivered on “two tablets of stone” and were “written with the finger of God” (Deuteronomy 9:10; cf. Exodus 34:1).  Choosing the medium of stone as a writing material emphasized the relative permanence of these laws.  By writing with His own finger, the Lord indicated that these laws were of divine origin, unalterable by human hands.

   The Lord Himself did eventually change those rules.  He took the “handwriting of ordinances…out of the way, having nailed it to his cross.” (Colossians 2:14).  He decided to give His people new rules as part of a new covenant. He declares, “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Hebrews 8:10).  Notice that the new laws would still be written by God and thus be unalterable by man. But they are not written on tablets of stone.  They are written on human hearts. 

    God’s laws today are on the hearts of His covenant people. Since God has written them there, they are not subject to change by humans.  But more than that, because they are written on our hearts, we do not want to change them.  You see, if we are truly God’s people, His laws are part of us.  They are what we want to do!  Regarding His laws, we would never begin to ask, “Where is it written in stone?” because there is no desire within us to change His rules.  We love His laws, and we live His laws. 


 — Steve Klein