Whenever we think of obedience and disobedience we automatically think of the nation of Israel and their vacillating relationship to God. I have been reading Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy this month and noted three basic observations about Israel and our God – the disobedience of Israel, the consequences of disobedience and the continued faithfulness of God despite disobedience.
The disobedience of Israel is easy to document, from the murmuring about food and water to the molding of a golden calf idol and much more. It is not my intention to enumerate all of our sins, or theirs, but we need to realize the seriousness of the sin of disobedience. If the God of the universe commands or expects something of me then I need to respond and do it. I think the key to God’s thinking on obedience is found in 1 Samuel 15:22 where King Saul did not fully obey God in destroying the Amalekites. Samuel confronted Saul and made this statement, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” Saul’s excuse for disobedience becomes a lesson for us.
The consequences of disobedience are obvious in the Old Testament as well. For instance, none of the original first generation of Israelites who left Egypt were allowed to enter the promised land except Caleb and Joshua. Even Moses was prohibited from entering because he hit the rock twice instead of simply speaking to it to give his people water, as God had instructed. What a sad moment personally for Moses when God brought him to Mount Pisgah and allowed him to see the new land, understanding that he would never enter it. Solomon put it well in Proverbs 9:10 when he said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We must have reverence for our God whereby we understand the consequences of disobedience.
There are a number of instances where God proves His faithfulness to Israel. In Deuteronomy 3, the Lord reminds them that He is on their side and He will fight for them. In chapter 2, He recounts the victories and the boundaries of Israel. In chapter 7, they are reminded of His love and blessing.
Obedience to our Lord, through His Word, is the key to living this life with His blessing and in the victory He desires and provides for His children.
Post by: Dr. Robert Booker
NBBI Vice President