Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

When All Else Fails, Read the Instructions

Judges 17:6 NKJV — In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 21:25 NKJV — In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 NKJV — There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
The Need for Instructions
I had a father-in-law who never read the instructions.  He never needed to read them.  He could always get whatever he was putting together, put together and he never had a lot of nuts and bolts left over.  Now me, I need the instructions and when they have been written by our foreign friends, sometimes I still have a lot of nuts and bolts left over.  However, the few times I have tried to get along without the instructions, I have had to take things apart and start over.  
Because we don’t think like God, we all need instructions when it comes to pleasing Him. In Isaiah 55:8-9, the Lord says,“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways,And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Many people think they know what pleases God without reading the instructions.  In most cases, they are pleasing themselves rather than God.  Israel had a set of instructions and they were supposed to “lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 11:18-20).”  So apparently, the children of Israel did not do this.  At one point they were surprised to find a copy of the law when they were cleansing the temple. The word of God had been lost in the house of God.  (See 2 Kings 22).
In Judges 17, doing what they thought was right without checking the instructions, led a Levite to take the position of a priest for which he was not qualified.  He became a hireling and left a smaller parish for a larger one and ultimately led the tribe of Dan into idolatry from which they never recovered.  In Judges 21, the Benjamites committed a very immoral act which caused a civil war and ultimately left the tribe of Benjamin with only 600 fighting men.  
New Testament
In John 5:39-40 the Lord says “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”  I keep wondering if the worship of the Lord today is at all like the pattern that the Lord has given us in His word.  The idea that shepherds can be hired like the Levite was in Judges 17, is foreign to the Scriptures.  We need to get back to teaching people how to become Christians before we teach them how to act like Christians.  I wish people were as vocal about their Lord as they are about their political leaders.  
There are a lot of things we might get wrong in our understanding of prophecy and in our understanding of moral truth and in our understanding of church ceremonies, but we don’t dare get the truth of the new birth wrong.  The Lord says “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).”  This is not an area where everyone can do that which is right in his own eyes.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of October 18, 2020

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