Proverbs 11:6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
This is one of many ways that God’s rules are good for us. The devil tells us that God’s rules are to hem us in, to deprive us of “fun,” when the opposite is true. God’s rules are to protect us from ourselves and this fallen world we live in. Addicts never start out by saying, or even thinking, “I think I’ll get addicted to something.” However, addictions in general are destructive to say the least. That’s what this is talking about. If our hearts are set on following God and obeying His rules, addictions aren’t an issue. As David said, “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” (Psalm 34:19) That of course agrees perfectly with Jesus’ remarks in one of my favorite verses: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The Bible never promises us “easy street,” but the way to get through all the mess is to follow God’s instructions. That’s what righteousness is all about.
One of the finest compliments I’ve ever received was from one of our church members, a recovering alcoholic who has since gone to be with the Lord. We were having a Bible study, and he suddenly came out with, “You’re addicted to the Bible. I know addiction, and you’re addicted to the Bible.” I cried tears of joy at that! Analyzing the Japanese word for addiction, it means something that can’t be done without, implying a strong dependence. That is indeed what the Bible is to me, and I am deeply grateful, not only for the Bible but for relating to it in that way. I certainly wouldn’t be righteous without it! The issue for me is how much I put it into practice, because as James said, just knowing the words and failing to apply them is deceiving myself. (James 1:22) I know full well that this world is a mine field, and when we get off God’s path we get blown up. I want to follow God’s path and lead as many as possible to do likewise, not trusting in human wisdom or accomplishment but in the grace and love of God.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that my wife made it through her surgery yesterday, though she was hardly rational at the point I had to leave her, because of the remnants of her anesthesia. I ask for Your patience for us both as Your healing is manifested in her, that her nerves will recover well and promptly from having been so abused and that she will rebuild the muscles that she has been unable to use because of pain. Thank You for her surgeon, and for the other hospital staff. I ask Your protection for her from the few “bad apples” among the staff, and pray that she would be an agent of Your grace and blessing to them all, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!