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Antidote to Default Living

Leviticus 24:12 (NKJV)
Then they put him in custody, that the mind of the LORD might be shown to them.

Deuteronomy 12:8 (NKJV)
“You shall not at all do as we are doing here today— every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes—

These verses in context really have nothing to do with each other. They just caught my attention. The passage in Leviticus is telling the story of how Moses deals with a man who has blasphemed God and decides the appropriate punishment. In Deuteronomy, Moses is describing the how the Israelites will worship when they possess the Promised Land. Although there isn’t anything that would connect these two situations to each other, but there is important insight for me that link these two verses together.

In the scene presented in Leviticus, a man had blasphemed God. Instead of rashly reacting, Moses resists the pressure to something immediately and creates an opportunity to hear from God. In the end, Moses’ ruling on the violation ends up being the result I had anticipated – the man was put to death. The issue for me is how Moses came to the decision. Instead of allowing the emotion of the moment to force the issue, he created space – space to clear his head and heart, so he could hear from God. Even though we could have anticipated the outcome, Moses did not presume. He stepped back and let God judge, and then obediently moved towards the right resolution. This reinforces to me the idea that the right process always produces the right outcome.

In the other story, God’s people are in the awkward “not yet” stage; they are not yet set up for the way it will be. This forces them to have to make adaptations. And in this context, God allows them some leeway to work things out the best way they know how. That “way” (of worship) in this passage is described as “every man doing right in their own eyes.” My paraphrase of this is “everybody did the best that they could in the circumstances they were in according to the understanding that they had.” But the thing Moses was pointing out was that although this was permissible for now, it was not to become the pattern or process that was going to be acceptable in the next season. In my life there are times that God allows me some leeway in the way I do things – as long as it works, He allows it. But just because He allows it now, doesn’t mean it’s the acceptable or even preferred way of doing things. What I do is allow the exception God allows to become the default behavior. Just because it works for today, doesn’t mean I have permission to do it this way all the time.

The overall thing I get from today’s reading I that I need to continue to push back my reactionary or default lifestyle. I need to not assume that what I’m doing is acceptable or right, even if I have justification for it. There is a way that God has for me to live. He wants me to know His mind on things. It’s my responsibility to understand the season and situation I’m in, so that I can know His mind and instructions for me.

Lord, let me know your mind and instructions. Let me not live by default. I want to live intentionally obedient in every situation.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 25, 2010 2:01 PM.

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