- Rick LoPresti
The manufacturer's instructions
It is a familiar thing to purchase a new product, open the box, and find instructions. I find it amusing when they are in multiple languages and English is apparently not the primary language of the author. Sometimes we actually take the time to read them. Other times we feel confident that we know what we are doing, and skip them. However, the instructions contain several important elements we should not overlook. The first is directions. These can be directions for assembly and/or for use. The second is warnings of failure to follow the instructions. The third is a disclaimer against failure to follow the instructions.
We would be wise to consider several things about the manufacturer. He is the inspiration for the product. He invested much time, talent, effort, money, and testing in the development, promotion, and distribution of his product. His product must offer some benefit and value to the user for him to make any profit. He has much more responsibility for his product than the user. He is responsible for the correct design and instructions. He is responsible to provide true information. He is liable for these things. The only responsibility the user has is to follow the instructions. The manufacturer knows a lot more about the product than the user, has a lot more invested in it, and has taken a much bigger risk than the user.
God is our Creator. "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3)." As Creator, He wrote the directions for that which He made. They are called "the Bible". He included everything we need to know, including warnings about what happens when do not follow those directions. He also included disclaimers. God is only obligated to keep His word, not ours. When we deviate from it, He does not guarantee the outcome. That is our responsibility. It is called sin, and the consequences are eternal. When we think we know more than the Creator, we make ourselves fools. He created all things good (Genesis 1). It is man that messed everything up. He saw that man could not repair the damage on his own, so He came in the flesh as Jesus Christ, and did it Himself (Isaiah 59:1-17, John 1:1-3 & 14, John 14:7-11, 2Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 2:9, 1Timothy 3:16). He took responsibility for our sins. He has a lot more invested in us than we do ourselves. He loves us, and only wants what is best for us. He took a big risk, and loved us with the greatest love (John 3:16, John 15:13). All He wants in return is to follow His directions as we were supposed to in the first place (Deuteronomy 10:12, Micah 6:8). When we do, He can bless us in this life and the next. When we don't, the disclaimer is applied.