Must, shall, command…

Obey Word Art 340x102


Before I proceed to cover more places where the Lord shows us how to live I want to bring up some of my past experiences which may tint my beliefs in the Bible.  I spent 30 years as an engineer designing consumer products. During that time I wrote many product requirments documents,user manuals, repair manuals, and that sort of thing.  In that effort there were certain words that were strictly defined. Among those were shall, must, command. Those words were strictly enforced to mean something that was absolutely required to be done.  When requirements say the red indicator shall flash it meant that is was a absolute; if the red didn’t flash the product could not be shipped.  Then there were other words like can, may, or “it is desireable”.  These words were meant to imply optional characteristics.

I guess I have taken those meanings to my interpretation of the Bible. When Jesus says I command you to do (this or that) he is not leaving it up to us to determine if we want to do it. He is tell us that we are required to do this.  There are so many places in the red letters including the great commission (to obey everything I have commanded) that is is hard to see how many say these are optional behaviors.  I have not studied Greek or Aremaic so I have to leave it up the the many Bible scholars to show me the shall, musts, and commands. It is very hard for me to accept that Jesus was only making recommendations with his many words in this category. Is it difficult/inconvenient/impossible to meet all of Jesus’ commands; sure it is but that does not allow us to ignore them we he speaks to us.

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