“Whenever a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord” (Proverbs 19:3).
In January of 2021, I will begin my 45th year of pastoral ministry. Over those years I have spent countless hours engaged in pastoral counseling. And more times than I can remember, the verse that is sited above has come into play. Many have been the times that my counselees have tried to blame God for their predicament, a predicament, more often than not, caused by their own irresponsible behavior.
Psalm 19: 8 says, “The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening they eyes.” According to this verse, the Bible is a book of commands. It is not a book of recommendations or suggestions. Its precepts are binding commandments from the sovereign King of the universe, whose authority extends to every minute detail of our lives.
The Bible is filled with dos and don’ts. It promises reward to those who obey its commands, it promises curses to those who do not obey its commands. Deuteronomy 28 is a great example of the blessings and the curses that come into one’s life, blessings or curses, based solely on one’s obedience or disobedience to the commandments of God.
Woven into the fabric of obedience or disobedience is the Law of Consequence. We reap what we sow. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
So when someone comes into my office, fuming at God because he has let them down, I suggest to them that their dilemma might be because they have chosen not follow the Word of God as the primary rule of their life, but living their lives, picking and choosing the parts of God’s Word that they like and disregarding the parts that they do not like. That type of living will be filled with the unpleasant consequences of disobedience.
“For the commandments are a lamp and their teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life to preserve you from evil” (Proverbs 6:23-24).