Protection By Design | January 8th, 2023
As I was walking through my front door, I spotted something bright green out of the corner of my eye. I thought it was a leaf stuck to the outside brick and was about to flick it off when I noticed it had antennae! Unlike anything I had ever seen before, I snapped a quick photo of it and looked online to find out what it could possibly be. The name was perfect…it’s called the “leaf-mimic katydid.”
How incredible that God designed this creature to have the same features of a leaf so it could camouflage itself for protection! Their bodies are the perfect replica of leaves that have been chewed on, partially decayed, and even have a central vain just like that of a leaf! Each of the thousands of katydid species are unique, displaying a wide range of colors and shades.
Watch this amazing one-minute video on the variety of leaf-mimic katydids and how they blend in perfectly to their environment. It is so stunning, it brought tears to my eyes!
God’s Protection for Us
If God cared this much when creating the katydid to keep it protected, how much more He must care for us and our protection who He made in His own image and dearly loves! As I thought about the different ways in which He protects us, my mind went to the many verses I’ve read in His Word that teach about God’s laws, commands, statutes, and precepts established by Him for our protection.
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Psalm 119:93
These rules of conduct make up God’s perfect standard of obedience and holiness. They were designed to act as a compass and guide for us so we know how to live in a way that is pleasing to Him while being kept safe from the painful consequences of sin. He gives us these standards for our own good and protection. Just as a loving parent knows what can hurt their child and does everything in their power to keep them protected, God is the same way with us. His knowledge gives us the guidance we need to live righteously under His perfect protection. That guidance is available to us all throughout His Word.
Passion for God’s Word
I recently watched a video filmed by a missionary to China. It showed a group of Chinese Christians receiving their first Bible in their own language. They excitedly tore into the box of Bibles like little children at Christmas. Once they held one in their hands, they were laughing and weeping, kissing their new Bible and holding it close to their heart as if was the most valuable treasure in the world!
It made me smile at their overflowing joy but also saddened me greatly when I thought about the lack of passion for God’s Word in so many who have a Bible of their own and also the freedom to read it but leave it on a shelf to collect dust day after day.
Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, contains that same strong passion as those Chinese Christians have for God’s Word. The author, who most scholars agree was David, Ezra, or Daniel, expresses his deep love for God and His perfect laws, commands, statutes, and precepts. By knowing them well, God has preserved his life.
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. (verse 97)
As he reads it, studies it, meditates on it, and talks to God about it, the Psalmist calls us to examine our own desire to do the same and grow in our love for God’s Word.
Benefits of Following God’s Laws, Commands, Statutes, and Precepts
Here are some of the verses from this passionate Psalm describing the life-changing benefits offered to us when we follow God’s laws, commands, statutes, and precepts designed for us so we can live righteous, godly lives, set apart for Him in this dark and sinful world:
BLESSING: Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. (v.1)
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—(v.2)
PURITY: How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (v.9)
TREASURE: I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. (v.14)
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (v.72)
GODLY COUNSEL: Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. (v.24)
STRENGTH: My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. (v.28)
UNDERSTANDING: I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. (v.32)
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. (v.104)
DELIGHT: Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. (v.35)
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight. (v.143)
FREEDOM: I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. (v.45)
COMFORT: I remember, LORD, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them. (v.52)
CONVICTION OF SIN: I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. (v.59)
KNOWLEDGE AND DISCERNMENT: Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. (v.66)
WISDOM: Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. (v.98)
I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. (v.99)
GUIDANCE: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (v.105)
Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. (v.133)
JOY: Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. (v.111)
PEACE AND STABILITY: Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. (v.165)
Designed for Our Eternal Protection
All of God’s laws, commands, statutes, and precepts are just as relevant today as they were for living thousands of years ago when they were written. Designed to be followed all the days of our life, they are based on eternal principles of what is right and good. They are decreed by Almighty God and, like Him, they will never change:
Your word, LORD is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. (v.89)
Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever. (v.152)
All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. (v.160)
God’s laws were not given to burden us but to expose our sin and rebellious heart so we could understand our desperate need for salvation found only by believing in Jesus Christ as the perfect blood atonement for our sin through His death on the cross. It is then that our sin is forgiven and we are presented to God as righteous and holy, without blemish.
No matter how well we keep His laws, commands, statutes, and precepts, we cannot obtain salvation on our own. Nor can we lose our salvation when we disobey them. It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone that we are saved and given eternal life, the ultimate protection from being eternally separated from Him.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Once we put our faith in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us who gives us the ability, desire, and power to obey. The more we grow in the knowledge of who God is by reading His Word, the more we will grow in our love for Him and develop the desire to obey Him. In fact, it is our desire and willingness to follow God’s commands that is evidence we belong to Him!
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3
Just as it becomes second nature for the uniquely designed katydid to find a matching leaf for protection, it also becomes second nature for us, uniquely designed in the image of our Creator, to obey Him who loves us knowing we are given the greatest protection when we follow God’s perfect laws, commands, statutes, and precepts.
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