Imagine you have just landed on a strange, hostile planet. The choice lies before you – the empty wilderness surrounded by warring tribes entirely free of rules or restrictions, or on the other hand, entry into a safe enclave with full provision of all you will need and a few necessary regulations and boundaries. I know which I would choose!
In a way, that was the choice put before Abraham in Genesis 17 v 7 – 8.
He could stay in the harsh environment of Canaan as an alien, do as he pleased and survive as best he could; or alternatively he could accept God as God for himself and his whole family and receive the promise of the possession of the land and the security of God’s benefaction, but with some rules attached.
Many people think of God as the big boss-spoil-sport figure, and if you become a Christian you just get a load of do’s and do not’s to follow.
We think in terms of authority – having to obey. But God thinks in terms of protection and provision. And like any good parent, the boundaries which he sets are simply a part of the protection. Abraham knew which side his bread was buttered, and so do I. I’m glad God loves me enough to ‘guide me in paths of righteousness’. That’s my choice any day!