When my oldest daughter was in college, she worked as a respite care giver for a family with a mentally challenged child whom I will call Anthony. The boy’s favorite activity was to listen to a 45 RPM recording of the song “Macho Duck.” Over and over and over again. He was not allowed to touch the turntable so his parents instructed my daughter to play the record for him as many times as he wanted. When the song ended, Anthony would say, “Macho Duck please!” and clap his hands. Sometimes he would also say, “Anthony DO NOT!” with emphasis on the “do not” part, presumably because he had heard that phrase more than once. Such a simple thing that Anthony wanted nearly drove my daughter up the wall—which is probably why Anthony’s parents wanted a little respite care once in a while.
Sometimes people feel that God is always telling us “DO NOT!” I searched the website, biblegateway.com and found that those two words appear 1838 times in the Old and New Testaments combined! The Lord has been commanding us to do things ever since He told Adam and Eve they were allowed to eat from every tree except…well, you know the story! (Genesis 2:15-17) God’s Ten Commandments have both “dos” and “do nots” (Exodus 20), and Proverbs is full of ways we should “keep God’s commandments.” In Matthew 14:28, we see Peter asking Jesus to “command” him to walk across the water to Him. Jesus commanded demons to depart (Matthew 4, Mark 5), and dead people to walk again (Luke 8, John 11).
But the best and most amazing commandment Jesus ever issued is the one He called The Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). And then He said, “the second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31). Let’s play that over and over!
Lord, I want to do Your will. Help me to follow all Your commandments. Amen