Who wouldn’t give one of these a wide berth? Even the look of a rattlesnake is off-putting for me. But of course, it is their bite and venom I especially want to avoid. That nasty venom travels through the bloodstream causing swelling, internal bleeding and much pain. A bite is not usually fatal if treated right away. But most people have the sense to avoid provoking rattlesnakes and avoid them all together when hearing their distinctive rattle. Those segments of keratin at the end of their tails knock together when the tail is vertical, producing a buzzing sound. As if that were not enough, they can also hiss to warn off people or predators.
Our verse for today promises reward for keeping God’s laws and decrees. That is the positive side. The negative side in this verse is that they also serve as a warning. Like the rattle on a snake, God’s commandments give us warning. They let us know when we are headed toward trouble. God, in His grace, alerts us through His Word so that we can avoid needless heartbreak. Following His way rather than our own keeps us out of harm’s way.
Our sin hurts. It complicates a life and results in brokenness. But it does not have to be if we heed His warning signs. It is unpopular to speak of absolutes but they are not my words. God delineates quite clearly in His Word between what is good and evil, black and white, dark and light. He makes it clear so I do not add senseless pain and guilt to my life.
Help me Lord, to see Your commandments as a loving gesture from You.