Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.
- Deuteronomy 4:2
“My computer grammar check didn’t like this verse. It wanted to delete the ‘not’ before ‘subtract.’ If I didn’t know better, I’d think I had a real person in there, objecting to the meaning of this passage, someone who wanted to change the upcoming Ten Commandments. Perhaps he’d like to get rid of the prohibition against adultery or the command not to have idols. Then he’d be able to do what he wanted and ignore the guilt.”
- Pamela McQuade, Daily Wisdom to Satisfy the Soul
Okay, with my grammar suggestions for my computer, it did not like the comma in Deuteronomy 4:2, but I have often seen the grammar check want to eliminate a negative to turn a sentence into a positive, in copied Scripture or what I write. And the devotion author was being sexist. Women might have problems with the commandments on adultery and idol worship also.
The author went on to speak of things that we might be uncomfortable with. Maybe we want one passage more lenient or a rule removed entirely. In another passage, we might want God to treat the people who violate the rule more harshly, especially when we are the victim. But the author concludes the devotion with the admonition to not edit Scriptures, but to obey.
But, I have a little different approach to the commandments. We must not edit, but we must not wallow in guilt either. God has forgiven our sins; we should also. Yet, guilt is a signal that we have mis stepped. Rather than beating our heads against the wall, we should praise God for His mercy, and quickly get back on the path in our journey of faith.
But also, simply obeying the commandments places us in a no win situation. We will falter. And it places our focus on “doing.” Just like the rich young ruler, we can “do” the commandments (in a limited sense), but do we have a meaningful relationship with Jesus? Breaking the commandments can hinder that relationship, temporarily. But once we repent and turn from the sin, we can start working on that deep relationship with our Savior.
Yet, the concept that the author of the devotion suggests of an outside force trying to edit Scripture is an interesting one. Has the grammar editor, or the software making suggestions, made similar suggestions with what you write? I know not to ask if autocorrect has changed something that embarrasses you. It has for me on numerous occasions. A carpenter will tell you to measure twice and cut once, but in writing, you may have to read and edit your work more times than just twice before you press the SEND or PUBLISH buttons.
And even when I read something that I have already sent, I know that God loves me, and He forgives my typos.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.