Shifting Sands – Today’s Youth Devotion

Shifting Sands

Bible Reading: Psalm 90:1-4

Before the mountains were created, before you made the earth and the world, you are God, without beginning or end. Psalm 90:2

THE SANDS OF a desert are constantly changing.

Sand dunes sometimes move across the desert like large, lumbering beasts; the wind blows against them, and they lose sand on one side and gain it on another—con­stantly shifting, changing, moving. A dune may grow to a height of five or six hundred feet and later disappear.

Sometimes the desert sands drift over farmlands, covering the fields and destroy­ing crops. Sometimes the sands blow across a small city or town and fill its streets and alleys; some ancient towns have been buried beneath sand for hundreds of years.

The shifting sands of a desert can make travel difficult, even impossible. A cart or wagon cannot roll through the deep sands. Horses will soon become exhausted trying to step through shifting dunes, often sinking chest-deep. Humans trying to walk in desert sands often take a step or two forward before sliding a step or two back.

It is easy to get lost in a sandy desert, too, because the landscape is constantly changing. Dunes look different on one side than they do on the other, and the shape of the terrain can change in a matter of hours.

The shifting sands of a desert can be dangerous. The same is true of shifting opinions and ideas about what’s right and what’s wrong.

You see, some people think that they can decide what’s right or wrong. “The way I see it,” they say, “such-and-such is wrong.” Or “I don’t think it would be so wrong to do so-and-so.” They may decide that a thing they thought was wrong last week is OK today. They may figure that something is OK for them to do, even though it would be wrong for someone else to do it to them.

But that kind of thinking is not only dangerous, it’s wrong. It’s not up to you and me to decide right from wrong. We can’t rely on our own ideas or opinions; those things may change from week to week or day to day-even hour to hour, but right and wrong don’t change according to what we think.

The only reliable standard of right and wrong is the unchanging God. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn’t change his mind. He doesn’t forget stuff. He doesn’t change the rules if he’s in a bad mood. Our attitudes may vary, our moods may shift, our opinions may change, but God remains the same.

REFLECT: Have you changed any of your opinions or ideas in the last few months? weeks? days? Has God changed during that time?

Do you make choices based on what you think or based on what others think? Or do you make choices based on what God thinks? Can you think of a time when you did each of the above?

PRAY: “God, I praise you for your unchanging nature. Help me rely on you—not on myself or on my own ideas—for guidance, especially in the area of__________________.”