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INSTRUCTIONS
Stats: 5,413 words / Reading Time: 27.07 mins

Published: Wednesday 20th November 2019

INSTRUCTIONS is read 247 times on CentreNDL.org 247

INSTRUCTIONS

The Bedrock of Living

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

Psalms 32:8-9

 

What Are Instructions?

According to the dictionary, instructions are direction or order. It could also mean a detailed information about how something should be done or operated. If you purchase a car for instance, and in the car manual it was written "drive with Premium Motor Spirit only." If you go ahead and put water where the PMS is supposed to be, then you have flouted the instructions of the manufacturer and therefore, you would be left to face the music. So, the whole essence of instructions is to ensure that we enjoy the usage of whatever it is we want to enjoy.

 

The challenge with many people  taking instructions is that they do not like to be told what to do, how to do what they want to do, or how to get to where they are going. They want the pride and challenge of trying to do everything on their own without any of God’s help or guidance. If we are ever going to enjoy life to the fullest, then there are instructions of God that we must abide with. God is the one who gives us life, and He has provided for us what we would ever need to ensuring that we live this life to its maximum.

 

 

The Dynamics of Instructions In Life

"And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” 2 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3 “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 4 And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you."

1 Kings 17:1-8

 

Sometimes these instructions changes, sometimes they remain the same for the rest of our lives, and this is why we should be sensitive to the dynamics of instructions in life. Most of the times, it is not our prerogative to change the instructions if the giver has not changed them. At some point, God instructed Elijah to go to the brook Cherith and that he has prepared a raven to feed him there. At some point, he told him to find his way to Zarephath, that there is a widow woman there ready to take care of him. If Elijah had remained in Cherith, he is sure on his own. Because the instructions that brought him there had changed.

 

So, one of the things we must be sensitive about is when the instructions had changed, and especially, when it is coming from the original person who gave us the instruction in the first place. The danger the younger prophet for was that he thought that the instructions had changed, whereas, it has not. He didn't go back to double-check whether the one who sent him initially had changed the game plan (Read 1 Kings 13:7-10, 18-30).

 

 

The Link Between Instructions And Life

When God gave us life, He didn't leave us alone to figure out life ourselves. If He had done that from the beginning, the implication of that would have been that each and every one of us would be living life by chance. Our lives would have been by trial and error. One of the importance of instructions to life is that they form the bedrock of living life to the fullest. Sometimes to some people with health challenges, the doctors would say "this and that, don't do, don't eat this and that, don't drink this and that, et cetera", the reason is because if by any means and chance, if you abide by those instructions, your life would be prolonged.

 

And I want to examine the following Bible passages from one of the wisest man that we know in the Bible. At some point, Solomon needed to write the following words to his children talking about how instructions are very germane to living.

 

Proverbs 4:10, Proverbs 10:17 and Proverbs 19:20 says:

 

Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.

 

He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,
But he who refuses correction goes astray.

 

Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

 

From those passages, we can deduce that instructions are directly linked to life. No wonder when God created man, He gave man a number of instructions that would help him in living adequately. The story of Naaman in the Bible is an example of how instructions can save one's life. Naaman needed healing from his leprosy so badly. He was a commander in the Syrian Army, he was rich and also have influence as well, but his leprosy was the only "but" of his life. (Read the story in 2 Kings 5:1-5, 9-14). If Naaman had flouted that instruction, he would have remained a leprous man forever.

 

Many people that hates to yield to instructions regrets the consequences of their actions. Some usually seek for a second chance so that they can come to make the necessary amends. But most of the times, it is always too late. This is why instructions and life goes together hand in hand.

 

See what Proverbs 5:7-13 says about this.

 

Therefore hear me now, my children,
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Remove your way far from her,
And do not go near the door of her house,
9 Lest you give your honor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
0 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth,
And your labors go to the house of a foreigner;
11 And you mourn at last,
When your flesh and your body are consumed,
12 And say:
“How I have hated instruction,
And my heart despised correction!
13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!

 

 

Examples of People Who Disobeyed God's Instructions and The Consequences of Their Actions

There are many examples of people in this category, and if we want to mention the case of everyone and their peculiarities to instruction, time wouldn't permit us. So, we are going to simply examine a few characters here as the Holy Spirit helps us.

 

Adam and Eve

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 2:15-17

 

Adam was not deaf when God was giving him this instructions. There is nothing to allude to the fact that Adam didn't hear God properly because he was not made deaf and dumb. God had made him in His own very image, and had placed him in a prepared place. He had access to everything in the garden; the animals, the fruits and trees, the rivers in the garden et cetera. But of all that he had access to, only one tree was made a no go area for Adam and his wife, Eve. But they went against this instruction at the devil's deception.

 

Consequences of their Action:

1) They died spiritually, the kind of death known as spiritual death. Although, Adam and Eve were alive physically, but spiritually, they were disconnected from God. They could not fellowship with God again like before.

 

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Genesis 3:8-10

 

2) They Lost The Very Essence Of God.

Man could no longer function in the class of God anymore because he has lost the very essence, the life of God. Man was now reduced to functioning with his senses. Before this time, Adam was operating in the class of God. He was God's image and likeness and everything that made God, God, was deposited in him. But he lost all these qualities when he disobeyed God's instructions.

 

3) They Were Driven Out Of The Garden.

This was the beginning of man's trouble. He was driven out of the prepared place to go fend for himself. At this point, God ceases to be man's Father. There has been a spiritual transitioning of families, the devil is now man's new father. And since they aren't with God anymore, equity demands that they don't enjoy anything that belongs to God. So, this prompted the action of God sending them out of the garden of Eden.

 

23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:23-24

 

4) Their Actions Brought Problem To All Humanity.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Romans 5:12-14

 

God's idea was not that man should die. His original idea was that man should live and reign on the earth and then extend His kingdom on the earth. But Adam's disobedience brought about death (both spiritual and physical death).

 

Listen to Podcast: INSTRUCTIONS: The Bedrock of Living

 

Moses

Moses started with God well. From the time he had the burning bush encounter, to the time he began his assignment of leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. He became so to say, like a mediator between God and the people of Israel. Twice he went to mount Sinai to receive the ten commandments for the people because he broke the first one after he had spent forty days and came down to see the people worshipping another god already. He was a man so used by God mightily before the children of Israel until he went against God's instruction. What really happened?

 

"7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” 9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him."

Numbers 20:7-9

 

The instruction to Moses was that he should "Speak to the rock" and the rock will yield its water.

 

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. 12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Numbers 20:10-12

 

Moses absolute disregard for God's instruction prevented him from entering the promise land with the children of Israel. God said "speak" but he went ahead to "struck." The consequences of that was he not finishing what he had started. The latter part of that chapter detailed how Aaron died eventually, and Moses' death was recorded in Deuteronomy 34:1-8 as well.

 

King Saul

Saul became a king at the request of the children of Israel. God's plan for the children of Israel was that He be their King, but administering their day-to-day affairs through Judges. And so, there were 12 Judges, when you read the book of Judges, then you have Eli and then Samuel. Samuel was the last Judge Israel had before Saul was appointed king over them. I am sure the man was not expecting to be king at the time he did, everything just happened at God's command and direction. Although, God foretold the kind of king Saul was going to be to the children of Israel, but the people did not listen. All they wanted was a king.

 

But after Saul was made king, it didn't take so much time before he went against God's instruction. Let us read what happened!

 

"Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ "

1 Samuel 15:1-3

 

The instructions were clear enough: 1) Attack Amalek 2) Utterly destroy all they have 3) do not spare them 4) kill both men and women 5) infant and

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nursing child 6) Ox and sheep 7) Camel and donkey. But what exactly did King Saul do?

 

7 And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed."

1 Samuel 15:7-9

 

So, Saul pretended to Samuel that he had heard all that God said to do concerning the Amalekites, but he still went ahead to do his own. One thing that many of us fail to realize is that God isn't our mates. He can't give us instructions to do certain things, and then we begin to do another thing. He won't take it lightly with us. Sometimes, we can disregard men's instructions and go away scot-free, and unscratched. But we cannot Go against God's instructions and not receive the consequences of our actions. We will sure pay for it.

 

Consequences of Saul's Action:

So Samuel said:

 

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He also has rejected you from being king.”

1 Samuel 15:22-23

 

Saul lost his kingly position just by going against God's instructions. At the fullest of time, he was deposed by God's divine orchestration and David became Israel's king in his stead.

 

King David

David was at the point of taking the census of the children of Israel. The Bible says "Satan" was instrumental for this decision. Joab decided to counsel the king against this move of his, but David wouldn't just listen to him.

 

"Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.

3 And Joab answered, “May the Lord make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?”

1 Chronicles 21:1-3

 

But at the end of the day, David paid the full price of not listening to Joab's instructions and counsel. Despite that there was no express instruction from God to David not to carry out a census of the children of Israel, the Bible the action of David displeased the Lord. Verse 7 tells us "And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel." That means the action was evil in God's sight. The consequences of this disobedience was documented from verse 9-14. The Bible says:

 

"Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and tell David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.” ’ ” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Choose for yourself, 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.” 13 And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 14 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell."

 

David's disobedience to instruction resulted in the death of 70,000 innocent Israelites. And this is where we should be careful, because there are times the consequences of our disobedience may have a negative ripple on the people around us. A husband's disobedience can impact his family negatively. A leader's disobedience can lead astray the people that are following him. A CEO's disobedience can bring about the downfall of the entire organization. We must be careful when it comes to following instructions in life.

 

 

The Importance Obeying God's Instructions

1. God blesses our obedience to His word. James 1:22-25

2. When we obey God's instructions, He considers it an act of worship. Deuteronomy 8:19-20

3. To Obey God's instructions is better than whatever sacrifices we could bring or offer. 1 Samuel 15:22-23.


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Obayomi Abiola Benjamin!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!

Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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Published: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin | Saturday 9th November 2019


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