The ship was crossing the channel, taking all of our family to England from France for a house exchange. We were thankful that no one suffered any sea sickness, there were no sudden squalls and we did not see rats making for the exits! Of course, if we had, we would have been plenty worried. It is a common belief that rats know when to flee a sinking ship. Some research seems to indicate that animals can pick up “infrasonic” sound pulses created by storms and earthquakes, giving them a head start toward safety. If I saw rats running for their lives, I would consider that a warning and follow!
Today’s verse 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 rats headed for the exit, 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 positive loving gesture from You.