Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Goats Got Out!

         Glen’s goats got out, escaping to a dangerous freedom out of the lush, but small pasture. Hilda’s house cat bolted for the door and ran out of doors, barely making it across the street as a car approached. Even Tom’s Teddy, a lovable big dog took advantage of a door left ajar and ran away.
        What is it with these animals? Why, with good provision and safety inside do they have an urge to run away outside? Why is what’s forbidden so attractive?

        The truth is, people from the very first have done the same unwise thing. Given a safe and happy environment with lush provisions Adam and Eve longed for “more.” The restriction of that one commandment felt unreasonable. They chafed to know more, to run free of any boundaries that God had given.
        Since then, history shows mankind’s urge for freedom, even though that freedom is replete with danger and posted with warning signs that are meant to keep us safe. Take any of the Ten Commandments and examples can be found showing the audacity of men and women pushing against the restrictions.
        Were these mere suggestions from God? Was it too difficult to know what He meant?
        We can know from context in reading Scripture that God entered into a covenant relationship, giving the commandments. It was meant to ensure that the people would have the safety and blessing from being obedient. To rebel meant to forfeit His blessing.
        Dire consequences should be enough to alert bystanders, but no, often the dare of the chase, the thrill of lawlessness, the heart-pounding exhilaration of defying the rules attracts teens and adults. Each lawbreaker sees himself/herself as the one golden exception, the person smart enough and strong enough to defy the odds.
        What more can God do, than to give us the commandments for living and allow us the freedom to choose?
        Actually, God does more than that. He has made us with a conscience to prick us with little reminders in our minds. He gives us some memory and some aptitude to notice what is going on around us. He provides us with a wonderful set of circumstances that bless us, body and soul, when we make right choices.
        In all of this He demonstrates His awesome love. His only Son, Jesus, came to earth to show us God’s love by His life, His death, and His resurrection. When He ascended to His Father, Jesus promised the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit who is faithful to teach, remind, and empower us to live a life that is outstanding. Free to obey, enabled to obey, with abundance of love and confidence each believer has no need to disobey God to find some excitement.
        Getting Glen’s goats back was a chore. Hilda was one worried woman until she tracked down that wayward cat. Tom finally found Teddy and lovingly confined the dog to a comfortable house and fenced-in yard.
        What a joy when the lost are found and brought safely home. Heaven also rejoices when the straying teen or adult returns to the embrace of our Father. Saved by grace, forgiven, restored, empowered to live successfully— an appealing idea, a mutual agreement, an astonishing gift.
        What is YOUR response?
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by Elaine Hardt ©2008

“So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.  Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”  (Deuteronomy 5:32-33). 

Jesus said, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:10-11).