SCRIPTURE GEMS – 3
Previously, we studied the importance of trust in our awesome God. If you think of the song, what comes next? “Trust and….” Obey. One of the greatest examples of obedience in my mind is Gen.39:9. …How then could I do this great evil and sin against God? Of course the background is Joseph being tempted by Potiphar’s wife.
We think of ourselves first but do we love our Savior enough to think of something we are doing is actually doing something against Him? That does not show love. Jhn.14:15 This has been a Scripture that flips off our tongue quite easily. It is deep! We can’t hug God. Even then, a person can insincerely hug someone and not love them. Actions speak louder than words. God tells us to do or not to do something and if we really love Him, we will obey and praise Him for His guidance.
In Hebrew “to obey” means to hear, listen, pay attention, perceive (understand). In Greek “to obey” means to do what one is told to do. This put obedience in plain language and easily understood. Adam’s disobedience made us sinners. Christ’s obedience has made many righteous. Rom.5:19 We may think we are our own person. Sometimes a person brags, “I am my own man. No one tells me what to do.” However, we follow one or the other and become slaves to the one we follow. Rom. 6:16
Even Jesus learned obedience. Heb.5:8 This was not that He stopped disobeying but that He was sent to earth for a purpose and that was accomplished in His death. Through His obedience, our obedience will bring eternal life to us. Heb.5:9
Scriptures give us many examples of obedience in the lives of godly men. For 120 years Noah had obeyed God (Gen.6:22) and so God cared for Him through the flood. Gen.7:1 Several examples are given concerning the obedience of Abraham. The one at the beginning of his journey is found in Gen.12:1,4.
Another example is Moses speaking to the Israelites in Deut.10:12,13. Not only were commands given but also the spirit in which they were to be obeyed. Notice that the commandments were for their own good. Many times we do not realize that God’s commands are for our own good. They become tedious to us as we want to do our own thing.
In realizing the many false gods surrounding the Israelites, Joshua gave them a choice as to whom they would obey. Josh.24:15 We also have a choice as we follow the world to destruction or our Lord to eternity with Him. 1 Jhn.2:15,17 Too often we look at glamorous appearances on the outside. God does not see things that way. 1 Sam.16:7 Mechanical ways of worship are also recognized by God. A person could go through the recognized outward forms of worship without the heart being in it. This was mentioned by Samuel. 1 Sam.15:22 Obedience is more than form. Samuel was obedient from childhood and recognized this fact.
David had his sins, repented, and turned to such full obedience that he was known as a “man after God’s own heart.” 1 Sam.13:14 As his son, Solomon, was to become king, David encouraged him in 1 Chron.28:9. Notice that he was to serve or obey him with his whole heart and be willing to do so. Do we ever obey because we feel guilt if we don’t or we feel compelled to do so? We don’t obey or serve with joy and look at it as an opportunity. We complain and are like Peter in Jhn.21:21. We don’t want to be obligated to do more than the next person. God’s commands are always for our good and growth. We are provided a promise - …seek Him, He will let you find Him. What a thought! We take so much for granted. Jer.7:23
How many times in life do we say, “If only…” God says this but in a different way. Isa.48:18 From teen years on to the end of life, how often things would have been different if only we had listened to the Lord. We think we know the way. We are deceiving ourselves. Jer.10:23 “If only” will not have to be used as often if we just follow the way of the Lord.
We let hindrances come in the way of our obedience. The Galatians were doing well but then something changed. Gal.5:7 Their old desires began to thrive again and took them away from the focus of the Lord. Sometimes we have distractions that do not even have to be a sinful distraction but it is something that interrupts our living completely for our Lord. Heb.12:1 We change course in our race but down the road we have to say, “If only.”
May our conclusion be the same as Solomon in Eccl.12:13. May we also remember what a catastrophe it becomes when we sin against God! Gen.39:9