September 17, 2016
I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. – Psalm 16:7
My first childhood memory is of blue Concord grapes splattered all over some shellac phonograph records, which were haphazardly scattered across the back of an old Ford automobile.
No doubt this memory stuck in my mind because of the extraordinary circumstances which created the scene. Years later, I was told that we were driving home after visiting with relatives on their farm. We came to a long, downhill stretch of roadway, and my father, apparently wanting to save some money on gas, put the car in neutral, turned off the engine, and started to coast down the hill. My father probably felt exhilarated at first, traveling freely down the highway. However, I imagine he did not feel so good when he realized he had lost control of the car! We survived, but there was a mess to clean up afterwards!
The image of our family going downhill on a country road with virtually no brakes is rather frightening. Yet, even more frightening is the thought that some people go through life with no “brakes.” I have known people who left their Christian upbringing to experiment with worldly pleasures, seeming to think that the principles and guidelines of the Bible were slowing them down. They bragged about feeling “free” with “no slavery to old-fashioned rules,” but I wonder how they feel when they realize that those rules were for their protection. The enemy of our souls would like us to believe that we will be in control when we get away from God, but in reality, the opposite is true. Without God, life spins rapidly out of control.
If we bypass our protection so we can coast along in life, we may survive physically, but there will likely be a mess to clean up at some point. However, we can avoid such problems altogether by allowing God’s “brakes” to do their job. Our focus verse says that the Lord will give us counsel, and our reins, or our inner prudence, will instruct us in the night seasons. We want to be sure that our “reins” are directed by God. His counsel is not meant to hold us back, but to guide us away from dangers we cannot see.