Following Instructions

Following Instructions

Thursday, August 29, 2019
Devotional for Day 18

Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?

Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
— Isaiah 58: 2-8 (ESV)

My daughter has a subscription to a S.T.E.M. box with everything needed to make a science project. The first one came, only to sit on the kitchen counter judging me for several days before I put it in a closet. The second one came. The third one came. Finally, the guilt was too much, so Eva and I pulled out all of the materials and opened the direction booklet to attempt a true engineering feat. I was feeling good after step three; there were pictures and clear instructions. Emboldened, I became less attentive. It was at a kindergarten level, after all. How hard could it be?

I will let you fill in the rest of the details, but eventually it did require full adherence to the instructions! Probably most of us have found ourselves in this situation. Whether it is a S.T.E.M box or Ikea furniture, yielding to instructions is part of life. If it is difficult to submit to instructions for an assembly project, how much harder is it to submit to instructions that make a demand on your money, your time, your energy and your freedom! 

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