The Statesman Recognizes the Need to Operate in Accord with the Creator’s InstructionsDownload a PDF of this essay
We each step into a complex world ‒ because of your responsibilities, especially you! The truth is that the creation was set up with the need for the Creator’s instruction and guidance in order to be able to operate optimally within His creation. Here we have the problem sometimes described this way: If you came across an electrical device but its purpose and what it could do was not clear, but at the same time, you knew who the engineer was who created it, what would you do? Obviously, you would go to that engineer and ask him. The analogy here is with a Creator who designed a system that we cannot understand in our own wisdom. The only One who truly understands it is the Creator.
He explained to us that He designed His creation with a plan:
Have you not heard? I designed it long ago; I planned it in days gone by. (Isaiah 37:26)
This is the LORD’s declaration — For I know the plans I have for you — plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
And yet, He reminds us that we cannot possibly discern those plans without His guidance:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways. For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
The answer is His appeal to us:
Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)
God continually reminds us: “You need Me. You are lost without Me.”
God told Abraham’s son Isaac the secret of Abraham’s success:
… because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My mandate, My commands, My statutes, and My instructions. (Genesis 26:4-5)
Notice that God intimately linked obedience to four items: “My mandate, My commands, My statutes, and My instructions.” Abraham benefited by obedience to all four. We must conclude that we can benefit from His instructions when we commit ourselves to obey “My mandate, My commands, My statutes, and My instructions.”
This helps us to understand as God clarified how this would apply to governance before ancient Israel’s first head of government was installed:
When [the King] is seated on his royal throne, he is to write a copy of this instruction for himself on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It is to remain with him, and he is to read from it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to observe all the words of this instruction, and to do these statutes (Deuteronomy 17:18- 19).
Notice the three intended results:
- Learn to fear the LORD his (our) God
- Observe (obey) all the words of this instruction
- Do these statutes
God made clear that what He was conveying were His instructions. And He made clear that the key was to focus our minds on God’s instructions and to obey them.
As Joshua was installed to replace Moses in the leadership of his people, notice the heavy emphasis on instruction God gave him:
Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do (Joshua 1:7-8).
In both of these instructions, we repeatedly are told to “observe”, i.e., to obey.
I have confidence in our Creator’s ability to give us everything we need to navigate His creation if we will do this in dependence upon Him for His guidance. Let me share briefly how this worked in my own life, although in a context different than your own. Out of humble beginnings, I view myself as among the last in the United States to begin school in a one-room schoolhouse. As such, my prospects were limited. However, as I followed my dreams, one door after another opened for me. Finally, I found myself in the laboratory of the greatest brain scientist who has ever lived. In parallel, I was also learning to listen to God and obey Him. I found that the more I attempted to obey God and adhere to His instructions, the more understanding I was given into an aspect of His creation: the function of the brain. Although I left that field 40+ years ago as a young man, the scientific discoveries I was privileged to experience are still quoted and being built upon by the following generation of brain scientists. I consider this to be amazing in light of the fast pace at which the scientific frontier advances. I remain convinced that the secret to unlocking the mystery of His creation lies in committing to His instruction book. I believe this principle applies in every area of human endeavor. It is certainly true in governance.
In reality, what may be considered obedience to God’s commands is simply our recognition of the need to follow His instructions.
Let us each seek to operate as His instrument by committing ourselves to “His mandate, His commands, His statutes, and His instructions.”