Strange But True – Today’s Youth Devotion

Strange But True

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 11:1

Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Deuteronomy 11:1, NIV

BE CAREFUL WHEN you are in Kahoka, Missouri, especially if you are joining a procession lit by torches. You see, it is against the law in Kahoka to carry an open flame through the street. You can carry a lantern but not a candle (unless it’s inside a glass case).

If you live in North Carolina, you should resist the urge to use an elephant to pull your plow through a cotton field. Otherwise, you could be fined; plowing with an elephant in a cotton field is against the law in North Carolina.

A Wisconsin law is still on the books requiring all train passengers to carry an axe and a handsaw with them.

Crazy laws, huh? They make no sense, right? Well, not exactly. They make a little more sense when you understand the reasons behind them.

For example, there was apparently a fire in Kahoka, Missouri, that could have been avoided if someone had been more careful in carrying an open flame (probably when houses were heated by wood stoves-if the fire went out, you’d borrow a light from a neighbor). North Carolina folks may have been bothered by a farmer who used an elephant to plow his fields. (Maybe the elephant just smelled too bad, or the animal might have gotten loose and hurt someone or damaged something. After all, elephants don’t have brakes.) And a tragic fire on a train in Wisconsin (when fires were pretty common on trains) resulted in the law to carry axes and handsaws (so you could get out if the train caught on fire).

Makes sense, huh? The laws make a lot more sense when you understand something about why they were created in the first place. The same is true of God’s commandments. We can’t always understand God’s laws, but we do know that his commands don’t just arise out of nowhere. He gave his commandments to protect us and provide for us and to help us become more and more like him.

And even if we don’t understand all of God’s laws, they provide an opportunity to trust him and show how much we love him by obeying him, even when we don’t understand.

REFLECT: Think about the laws or rules in your city, state, province, school, or family. Can you think of the reasons behind rules like “Obey the speed limit,” “Don’t run in the hallways,” and “Eat all your vegetables”?

How do God’s laws protect you? Do they protect you if you disobey them? Why or why not?

PRAY: “God, thank you for giving me your wise commands. Help me to obey you and make right choices, especially when___________________.”

You may also want to pray the psalmist’s prayer from Psalm 119:35: “Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.”