“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26
I was briefly a ninth through twelfth grade Bible teacher, at Maplewood Academy, in Minnesota. Being a teacher gives a person a very different perspective when it comes to the scenario of a someone not following clearly communicated instructions.
I can honestly tell you that I don’t personally know a single teacher that doesn’t want all his, or her, students to succeed. Most teachers will go far more than the extra mile to help a student accomplish the goals of a class. I know of many instances in which teachers have scheduled time for extra classes to help students prepare for tests and projects. Others have set up regular tutoring sessions for their students adding still more time to a very long work day. Most times the only compensation that the teacher receives for their gift of time is a thank you and the success of their student.
But what do you do if a student doesn’t study, doesn’t follow instructions, and doesn’t ask for help?
Every teacher has had gifted students that didn’t apply themselves and as a result didn’t succeed. We’ve also had students to whom even the humblest of grades came with the utmost of effort. And we’ve all had to stand helplessly as they didn’t study, didn’t ask for help, and didn’t accept the help we offered. And in the end who was it that had to give the grades at the end of the term. We, the teachers, had to assign a grade to the performance of the students. And we where the ones that labeled them A’s, B’s, C’s, D’S, and F’s. I remember having a lot of regret assigning some of those grades.
God had given all the people of earth instructions on how he had designed them to live. The apostle Paul, in Romans chapter one, makes it clear that God has revealed himself, and his will for mankind, to the world but in general people have rejected God’s instructions.
God has blessings he wants to give but he’s promised that he’ll only give them if certain conditions are met. He’s also promised that certain punishments will fall if we don’t do as we’re commanded. Our disobedience forces our loving God into a position where he must withhold blessings from people he wants to prosper and punish people he wants to shelter from pain and hardship. If God doesn’t do as he’s said he would do then he makes truth a lie and his own word nothing.
In Exodus 15:26 God is pleading with Israel and with us, “I don’t want to have to deal with you the way I’ve had to deal with the Egyptians. I gave them so many chances, I saved them from famine, I gave them the godly example of Joseph and still they rejected me. They enslaved my people, ignored my demands for justice, and did not heed my warnings. Israel, listen to me, be obedient to my commandments and instructions, give me the opportunity to have the relationship with you that I want. Let me be the God that heals you.”