But—the blueberries are ready to be picked. When we had our little blueberry patch we went out every other morning, plastic bucket in hand, and picked. Before five minutes were up, I could feel the first prickles on my scalp and in the next five, the perspiration started rolling out of my hair. Did I say it was hot? But it was certainly worth it.
At first, only a few were ripe enough, barely dusky blue, and we might have enough to throw in a bowl of cereal, or, if I saved them for three or four days, a batch of muffins or pancakes. By the second week, things had improved and blueberry pie or a crisp was in the works. By the end of the season we were loading up quart size plastic tubs and putting them in the freezer. We usually pulled the last tub out sometime around March of the following year. Blueberries almost all year long!
Why didn't we pick them all at once, you ask? Actually, you probably know the answer to that. You only pick the ripe ones and they do not ripen all at the same time. That's one reason it takes so long to pick. You have to go limb by limb, berry by berry, in order to get the best. There is a word for that—oddly enough, it's called "cherry-picking" because, I presume, when you pick cherries you do it exactly the same way, limb by limb, cherry by cherry, only picking the ones you really want.
If we aren't careful, we do the same thing with the Bible. We cherry-pick the commands we want to obey and ignore the rest. They don't count. They aren't important. Whatever the metaphor might be for "ripe." You think we would never do such a thing? Let me show you a few.
None of us would neglect Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Pet 3:21 would we? In fact, I bet you don't even need to look those up. You already know that they refer to the command to be baptized. Of course we need to be baptized.
But the same God who commanded baptism also said, "Husbands love your wives as your own body" (Eph 5:28) and "Live with your wives in an understanding way, giving her honor…" (1 Pet 3:7).
The same who God who said, "Wives submit to your own husbands" (Eph 5:22) also said "[Everyone] submit to one another" (Eph 5:21) and "We who are strong have an obligation to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves" (Rom 15:1).
The same God who said we should partake of the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week when we are gathered together (Acts 20:7) also said we are to "Sing and make melody to the Lord" (that's each individual) (Eph 5:19).
The same God who said, "Preach the Word" (2 Tim 4:2) also said, "Withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly" (2 Thes 3:6).
Or as James the Lord's brother put it, the same God who said, "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not commit adultery" also said we should not show bias toward another human being (James 2:8-11).
Now tell me we are not guilty occasionally of "blueberry-picking" among God's commands. Usually it's something we want to excuse ourselves from because it is not as pleasant, not as easy, and might cause us embarrassment or even inconvenience. Perhaps it means we will have to totally change our attitudes about what devotion to God really means.
It's easy really. If He said it, do it. That's the way His child should obey. Not judging his law as if we have the right to decide what is and is not important. We cannot run to Matthew 23 and the Pharisees either. See what Jesus said to them: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others (Matt 23:23). Yes, some commands are "weightier" than others, but Jesus said, you do them both, not leave one undone because you don't want to do it—because that's what it really boils down to.
God never meant us to go blueberry picking with His Law. He just wants us to obey it.
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it (Jas 2:10).