Deuteronomy 4:5-8 ““See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. “So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? “Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?”
In the Garden of Eden, part of the serpent’s deception to Eve was placing doubt in her mind about God’s will being the best thing for her and Adam. Satan accused God of an evil motive of simply not wanting Adam and Eve to be wise like God Himself. And things haven’t really changed all that much, have they? Even today we can read through Scriptures that correct us or threaten to change us and Satan still whispers in our ears very familiar charges, “Aw, really? That’s not living! God is nothing but a cosmic killjoy!”
Is it true? A lot of people in the world think so, and maybe you’ve been tempted, too. Let’s think about it.
First, this is God we’re talking about here! The God who has provided for us life and everything that sustains it and lots of nice things that make life pleasant and pleasurable. His nature is and always has been kind and generous and helpful (for example, Gen. 2:18 and Deut. 6:24). His nature is the essence of goodness, and not only does He seek not to do us harm, but He actually seeks to bless us and do us good. He has our very best interests at heart. The ultimate proof is that He gave His only begotten Son to die in our place for things that we have done. Would a God who has done us so much good really be trying to squelch our good times? The nature and character of God teaches us that we may be certain that His commands are the best thing for us to do.
But we should also hasten to add that God’s words are tested—look at the results of the lives of those who obey. 2 Samuel 22:31 tells us, “As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” It is true; tested by millions over thousands of years in cultures all over the world, God’s words have been found good, right, and beneficial. God, you see, is actually far, far wiser than any man (when’s the last time you created a working universe?); we shouldn’t be surprised by this, but somehow we are. It is sad and ironic how men foul up their own lives and the lives of others and then try to blame God (see Prov. 19:3). God’s words are truth (Psa. 19:7 / Psa. 119:160 / John 17:17). And even the world recognizes it in its soberer moments.
There’s a deliberate tease found in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” If you really try it, it will be obvious to you. An old invitation hymn has a verse that runs this way, “But we never can prove the delights of His love, until all on the altar we lay. For the favor He shows and the joy He bestows are for those who will trust and obey.” And it is so true.
Psalm 8 is a meditation and a parable all wrapped up in one, comparing the incredible perfection, fit, and beauty of the visible universe to the perfection and beauty our lives would be, if we were to simply be as obedient as the universe. Satan’s lie about God’s evil motives to limit us and keep us down is just as false as it always was. But let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind—in every situation, in every season of life, in every decision you need to make—God’s way will be best for you. Not necessarily easier, but always best