Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 10

From Handbook to God’s Promises


When the Captain Speaks
(Exodus 20:1–17)

It might occur at the height of tension in a submarine warfare movie. A decision must be made upon which the fate of the Western world may hang. After decrypting the encoded messages, analyzing the navigational charts, and breathing a prayer, the commander makes his decision. Reaching for the microphone, he utters the phrase that brings everyone to attention: “Battle stations!”

At this point, what would happen if all the sailors went back to shining their shoes, listening to music on their headphones, finishing their card games, and completing their maintenance tasks? In that particular movie, the Western world would be lost, obviously. But we know that doesn’t happen. The sailors hop to and the sub saves the day. But the scenario illustrates a biblical point: hearing the voice of authority implies action on the hearer’s part.

God spoke to the nation of Israel (and ultimately to spiritual Israel, the church) in much the same authoritative way. From atop Mount Sinai, Moses says, “God spoke . . .” And what God said after that in Exodus 20 was the equivalent of “Battle stations!” He gave the fledgling nation of Israel a basic set of laws to ensure their purity and their success as they entered into spiritual and military conflict with the nations that would oppose their heritage in Canaan.

Did God mean what He said? Yes. Historical Israel failed to keep these laws over the years and suffered serious consequences. The historical church has done the same, as do we as individuals today. We hear the voice, but we don’t always hear the message. We receive the instructions, but fail to understand the implications.

We must always obey God’s voice. The future of our personal world depends on it.

God’s Promise:
He will never instruct you to do anything that He doesn’t expect you to obey.