“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” 1 Samuel 15:22
I believe the hardest thing for any human being to do is to be obedient. Obedience seems quite simple but why do we find it hard then? When we drive on the highway or even on the local road, we see the speed limit but for some reason, we seem to go beyond the set speed limit. It seems as though it is in built in the spirit of man to be disobedient, but is this true? I guess the only way one can disobey something is when a law is set or rules and regulations are put in place. With that said the presence of a law then prompts us to then disobey the same law. From the foundations of the earth, obedience has been very hard for mankind, but once we are able to obey, everything works right, not only for us but for all others around us.
For instance, if I run a red light while driving, I may cause an accident that will involve others but when I follow the rules, the laws of traffic, I’m safe as well as others around me. The presence of the law always makes us aware of wrong doings; does this mean then that having a law is bad? No, having the law directs us to stay in line once we obey them. We see God stating the only law He gave after creation in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:15 which states,
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. God gave man freely everything in the garden to Adam, told him to just take care of it but to top it off He gave Adam, the first man the only law, which was “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”,
But as stated before, since there is a law, there is a tendency for man to defy it.
Let us fast forward to Genesis 3:15, we see Adam and his wife, Eve, violating the only law that was given to them in the garden, isn’t that sad? This was when sin entered into the world. Sin entered the world by the disobedience of Adam then; Paul says it better in Romans 5:12 which states, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. What did God expect then? God’s main idea for creation was for man to dominate on the earth, dress His beautiful creation and obey His one law. It seems that God’s ultimate request was for man to just obey His word, and not to violate His law. One thing that God wants for all men to do is to obey Him, obey His word, for His word is His law. Man had the right to do all things but the important thing he had to do was to obey God.
From the book of Genesis we see that many of the men God used had this particular trait in them. Let’s take a closer look first at Noah, having been given a direction to build an ark, he followed the instructions God gave him as well as the measurements to the teeth. If it was our time, we will like to suggest to God what directions or measurements seem fit because we think we know it all. Abraham on the other hand is also a good example, imagine not having a child throughout your whole life and at let’s say age 90 you have a child and one God asks you to send the child away, wouldn’t you be upset with God? To even make it better you have another child and then He asks you to offer the child as sacrifice to Him. For a man in such a situation, do you tell your wife about it or not? Should you obey God and do as He requested or will you think it was the devil trying to put bad thoughts into your head? We know that Abraham did not consult his wife on the issue, but rather obeyed the instructions of God and went through with what God said but God showed Himself strong. The idea then is, whenever God gives us a direction, a law, a command, it may not always sound good, it may not be easily understood by the human mind but in the mind of God it is right, this is because everything is for His glory and in turn for our own good.
When I read the bible, I usually place myself in whatever situation is going on, and then apply it to the present time to see how it connects, I usually find out that it is usually not that simple, but if they can do it, so can we.
In order to be obedient, we have to be able to accept the word of the Lord as the only thing which rules, be submissive to it and be ready to do whatever it says. Do we find ourselves doing that? God always wants what is good for us, that when he sometimes gives us a His word He wants us to just obey Him wholeheartedly and not to consult man. He wants us to obey His word and not to seek man’s idea about what He himself has told us to do. Sometimes when He gives a command, it is meant solely for us to obey and not to share it with others, if He wants us to share it with others He will let us know or reveal it to them also but in most cases it is meant solely for us to obey and go ahead instead of sharing with others who will in turn let us disobey His word.
Let’s take Abraham’s situation again, had he told His wife about offering Isaac as a burnt offering what will have happened? From my point of view, I believe Sarah will have either taken Isaac and left the house at dawn and Abraham will have missed His blessing, or to bring it to the modern age, the cops will be called on Abraham, in the worst case, he will be considered a psycho, but Abraham obeyed God fully, not sharing what was given him but went through it till the end. In Judges 13:5 it states about the man Samson, “For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” Samson’s parents were informed by the angel not to have his hair cut, the parents of this young boy obeyed the instruction of the servant of the Lord, they then passed the instructions on to the man, he also obeyed the instruction but shared it with someone else, in Judges 16:17 it states, “That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” Samson obeyed God but the mistake he did was to share the word given to him with someone else. We are not always to share the word God gives to us with everyone around us even our close family, but the important thing is to obey whatever God asks us to do, if it is not in God’s will for you to share, they might discourage you, bring you down and delay the plans for your life. Let’s look at the life of David in this aspect:
In Numbers 20:8, 11, it states, “Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.” Even the man Moses disobeyed God, he did not heed to the directions God gave to him, but rather leaned on his own wisdom, and the pressure of the people that he did not do as the Lord commanded and this cost him his life, He did not get to see the promise land which God promised the children of Israel.
We have been discussing the issue of obedience throughout this chapter and as the discussion has been going on we have come to notice some of the things we ought to do when it comes to obedience and others that we ought not to. For instance, we do not always share what God wants us to do with others around us unless He (God) prompts us to. In 1 Samuel 14: 16-17 states, “David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer. 17 And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” Even though David was king over Israel, he always made sure to obey the word of the Lord. He did not think of himself highly as the king and therefore could do anything that pleased him, He always put the things of God first, His word before doing anything, he didn’t even seek the counsel of Samuel who was the prophet at the time, this shows that there are some things that the Lord will instruct you and not your pastor or spiritual father, because you are either the only one fit for the job or He is using it for His glory. He will instruct and just as it is in David’s case, you need to be obedient and do what He instructs, not first ask your pastor if it is the Lord’s will or not. This is not to say do not seek advice but first be obedient to the directions of God.
So the first Adam disobeyed God and brought about sin, meaning the last Adam has to obey God in order to redeem us from sin, in Romans 5: 19, Paul writes, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” The man Jesus, just like his father David, obeyed God totally to His death, he even went on to say, He does whatever He sees his Father (God) doing and say what He hears God say, meaning, he was ever ready to do what God the Father instructed him to do, not seeking the counsel of men but always seeking the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was God the son, He could have resisted death, as a matter, He could have descended from the cross of Calvary but in order to fulfill the will of God the Father, he let go of His will. He sought to obey rather than to forfeit His divine assignment. Has God given you an instruction? Has He given you His law to?
Seek God’s counsel in all things. This key gives you access to all that God has promised concerning one’s life, it also frees you from worries and helps build your faith in him. More importantly God blesses you based on His word. Whenever we are obedient, others around us are also safe, our disobedience doesn’t affect us only but extends to those around us as well.