Simple Instructions

These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:  And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.

Zechariah 8:16-17

I like simple instructions.  I like it when I am told exactly what to do.  I like it when there is nothing left to interpretation.  I like “the cookies on the bottom shelf.”  And these are nice, simple instructions.  Now, saying that I like simple instructions doesn’t always mean that I always obey the simple instructions.  It sometimes seems like the simplest things are the hardest ones to get right.  But at least there is no doubt about what is expected.  These verses give us a few things that the Lord expects us to be doing: “There are the things that ye shall do…”

“Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour…”  We are supposed to tell the truth.  That is simple.  But how often do we fail in that most simple instruction?  How often are we guilty of stretching the truth or being purposely vague in our dealings?  Just a simple dose of truthfulness would work wonders for us.

“…execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates.”  Truth is again mentioned, highlighting it’s importance.  And we are told to execute the judgment of peace in our gates.  We are not supposed be fighting with everybody.  The New Testament sums it up like this: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness…”  (Hebrews 12:14)  We are supposed to be at peace with people.  We are not supposed to be going around starting arguments and fighting with everyone.

“…let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor.”  We are obviously not supposed to be doing evil to our neighbors, but we are not even supposed to be thinking evil toward or about others.

Those are simple instructions.  Are we following them?

6 responses to this post.

  1. This is really good Ben! And I have to admit, too often I am not obedient to the simple instructions. Obedience is a moment by moment reliance upon the grace of Christ for me…for us all. So often I withdraw from Him to try it in my own power and then I find I cannot even come close to “the simple instructions”.


    • Amen to that. I have found that to be true over and over again- I can’t even obey the simplest instrucion without the grace of God. We really can’t do anything in our own power.


  2. Just really impacted by the resounding instruction about truth. Telling the truth, acting in truth, thinking in truth. Praying to stay close to His truth each day, so that I know when I’m allowing something false to come out of me. God bless you, Ben! Another great lesson to learn and practice!


  3. Thank you, Ben

    Yet we continue to miss it … as simple as it is. *sigh* As someone once told me “we work so hard to make the simple things complicated.” That was never His design.

    What Pastor J said, and praying Deb’s prayer. We will get there yet!



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