From the time we can crawl, our parents give us instructions for living. When we are young, instructions relate to our physical environment, how to find your mouth with a spoon, how to tie your shoes. When we’re older, they are more social, how to communicate, how to resolve conflicts.
Living in this age of changing technology, we have come to depend on good instructions. But sometimes we think we don't need them. Have you ever started doing something as simple as putting a new cartridge in your printer, without reading the instructions, to find yourself stumped half-way through?
Throughout the Bible God tells His people to pay attention to His Word, our instruction manual. Israel’s history is one of failing to read the instructions. One unforgettable example of this is when King David decided to bring the “Ark of the Covenant” back to Jerusalem. In good conscience, he put it on a new donkey cart. But when the rough road became threatenening, Uzzah reached out and touched the Ark, to steady it, and died instantly. Calling a halt to the moving project, David returned home and re-read God’s instructions for transporting the Ark (2 Samuel 6). What pain David could have avoided. Likewise, we will avoid a lot of pain in life if we just stop and read the instructions first. "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path...to keep me from stumbling" (Ps. 119:105; Jude 24).