Over the holidays we went away for a quick break down to the beach, but for a few days swimming and surfing was banned. The hectic weather conditions and giant surf made swimming far too dangerous.
What was interesting to note was that the Lifeguards were warning people not to go into the surf, but there were people who still disobeyed the order and tried to go and swim.The swimmers would be reprimanded and then come out the water - but a few minutes later someone else ignored the ban and tried to swim. At one point the exasperated Life guards were telling people that bathing was banned for the SAFETY of the public! It was not that they wanted to chill out and take a day off – no, they were doing their job and trying to protect people.
This reminded me of how we sometimes view God and his commands. We often think that God has made the rules and commands just to mess with us – like some kind of sick LIFEGUARD, who just wants to stop my fun in the sun.
It is interesting that when the Lord gave the 10 commandments to the Israelites it was to PROTECT Them and keep them safe in the NEW LAND they were about to enter into. They had been used to living under the leadership and rules of the Egyptians for generations. These were set for them to say to them – “Hey, guys it is gonna be tough out there – if you want to survive and live long in the land, then I am laying down these guidelines.” But the people kept ignoring God.
Nehemiah 9: 16-18 - But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them."
God is not a mean person trying to mess up our lives, rather he is a loving LifeGuard trying to protect us from getting ourselves in trouble.
Living in Grace