Introduction: This week’s lesson focuses on the importance of being obedient to God. We will review some of the examples in the Bible of those who were obedient to the voice of God and others who were not and the consequences thereof.
There are many scriptures in the holy word of God that speak of obedience. There are some that teach children to obey their parents. There are verses that instruct servants to obey masters; some instruct us to obey them that have rule over us. Most, and more importantly however, teach the human race to be obedient or to obey the instruction of Almighty God.
Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”
Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey you parents in all things: for this is well pleasing to the Lord.”
Colossians 3:22 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch over your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
Titus 3:1 “Put them in mind that be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”
Are there circumstances where it would not be wrong for us to not obey one of these listed above? What do the scriptures say about those over us who command us to go against the word of God?
Peter and the other apostles as well as others recorded in the Bible faced just this situation. One such recording is found in the book of Acts chapter 5. The apostles were teaching the good news of the gospel of Christ. Many signs and wonders were happening and multitudes were believing upon the name of Jesus and being saved. Now this was totally against what they were use to. The high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief of priests they were upset and had the apostles put n prison. But, the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors that night and instructed them to go and speak in the temple and continue to teach and preach the gospel of Christ. Let’s take a look.
Acts 5:12 –32.
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. 15. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds, and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed everyone.
17. Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees, and were filled with indignation, 18. And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19. but the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20. Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22. But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 23. Saying, the prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
24. Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 25. Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 26. Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. 27. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28. Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to being this man’s blood upon us.
Reading on we find that the apostles are let go and God made a way for them to continue to teach and preach Jesus Christ in the temple as well as in people’s houses.
This example shows that we are to obey the voice of God and his instruction over any other. If we are obedient to him, he will handle the consequences. We are to trust him and just do as he commands. What would have happened if the apostles had been afraid and chose not to obey God? We don’t know exactly what might have happened in that situation but we know that they would not have turned out victorious as they did.
Facing prison must have been frightening. However, they knew that it was better to obey God and trust Him to take care of them. They were certain of God’s wishes and they knew for certain that he would have them to continue to teach the name of Jesus. It is so important for us to get in God’s word and know what he expects of us, and what he commands. It is just as important to have communication open with him and to learn and know his voice.
Jeremiah 7:23 “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”
Job 36:11 “If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasure.”
God is the epitome of righteousness. He can see far beyond what we can. He knows from beginning to end. He is eternal present. He always was, is and is to come. He knows that the wages to sin is death. He must live by his own laws of righteousness. He can be nothing less than perfect. He knows that he cannot look upon or condone any sin. That is the whole reason Jesus came and died and rose again. He is our bridge, our door to the Father. We have the righteousness of Jesus imputed to us through salvation so that when God sees us, he doesn’t see our sin, but instead he sees the righteousness of Christ and he is pleased.
When we disobey it separates us from God. You might say, well God will forgive us if we disobey. Yes he will, but he has a plan, and others suffer as well as the disobedient one when God is not obeyed. You may say, surely not, is it such a big deal? Let us go to the Book of Genesis and to the Garden of Eden.
We know that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth as recorded in Genesis. He also created man known as Adam. He placed Adam in the garden to live. Then God created Eve so that Adam would not have to live alone.
Genesis 2: 8 “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
Genesis 2:15 “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it. 16. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17. 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.”
So God has placed man and woman in this perfect paradise and he gives them one restriction. He tells them to live and go and eat freely of every tree, except one. Let us continue and see what happens.
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband and he did eat.
7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9. And the LORD god called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10. And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Adam then tells God that the woman gave the fruit to him and he ate of it and then the woman explains that the serpent tempted her and beguiled her and that’s why she ate.
God then punishes the serpent and all serpents after, he also punishes Adam and Eve and the whole world was cursed because of Adam’s disobedience.
Genesis 3:16 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and they conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to they husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out if it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Genesis 3:23 “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Genesis 2:17 “17. 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.”
Genesis 5:5 “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: then he died.”
We know that Adam lived through much sorrow. His son Abel was murdered by his other son Cain. The human race was placed under the curse of sin by his disobedience. Can you imagine how he must have felt in living with that knowledge?
When we disobey God, yes he will forgive us just as he did Adam. However, there are consequences and what God says he must follow through with. Our lives are not just ours. What we do can and a lot of times does effect others around us. Disobedience causes separation and suffering not just to us, but a lot of times sadly to those around us. God could have just created Adam to obey. He could have created the whole human race to just automatically obey and never sin. Why did God give Adam the choice whether or not to obey? Why not just create him to be perfect automatically?
The scriptures tell us that God is love and he wants a family to show that love to. He wanted many sons and daughters that would love him out of their own choice and free will. Just like you, you want your family to love you and respect you, not out of have to, but out of choice and want to. Those that choose to love God will be rewarded. After Adam disobeyed, God could have just taken his life on the spot and started over. He could have just created a perfect world where everyone would have to love him and obey and trust him. But God wanted us to love him out of choice. Just like the angels and all things that God has created, he gave us free will of choice and lets us decide if we will love him, if we will trust, and obey his voice.
God wants us to want to love him. He wants us to love him because we want him to be our Father, and because we want to be his children and his family.
Just like he loves us, God loved Adam and Eve and so he made a way for them to be forgiven and then later we know that he sent Jesus to make up for what Adam lost. He sent Jesus to redeem us so that he could continue his family.
Romans 5:17 “For if by one mans offence death reighned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:18 “For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Romans 5:19 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
Ephesians 1:5 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
2 Corinthians 6:16 “ And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
God wants us to obey him, first in being born again, or receiving salvation through Jesus Christ so that we can have relationship with him and be his children, and second to obey him as his sons and daughters because he wants us to have a happy life and bring others into his family. He knows what lies ahead, he has planned the best paths for us and if we obey him, we can live in peace, joy, and victory. How do we show our love to God? We show him we love him by obeying and trusting him. What has he commanded us to do?
John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
John 15:10 “If ye keep commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Mark 12:30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all they strength: this is the first commandment. 31. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
There are many more examples of the consequences of disobedience to God as well as many examples of rewards of obedience to him. Those recordings are placed in God’s word so that we can learn from past mistakes and not make the same ones, as well as see the past victories and follow after those.
We know that God loves us and wants only the best for us. He wants us to obey him and trust him because we choose too and because we know in our hearts that he is good and he will always take care of us and bring us to good and that his plans for our lives are the best and more than we could ever even plan for ourselves. God is the best Father and we should love him and show that love by obeying and following his instruction in our life. I will end with a quote that Pastor Charles Stanly always says. “Obey the LORD and leave the consequences to Him.”
Notation: Remember to serve others in the love and attitude of Christ this week. Thank you.
Dear Heavenly, Righteous Father…
We come before you in praise and worship yet another week. We thank you for the days past and for watching over us and our families. We praise you for who you are and that there is none greater, nor will there ever be any one greater than you. We worship you and thank you for your vast love, mercy and grace shown to us. We ask that you help us to always remember that to obey you is always the best way, no matter what the circumstances may be. We ask you to forgive us for the times that we have failed to obey your voice and we ask you for the strength to stay in your will and to always submit to you in obeying what you would have us to do. We know and trust that you will always take care of us. We thank you for your everlasting love and mercy. LORD, help us to be a light and to tell others the good news of Jesus Christ and Salvation from death and sin. Please watch over us Father, and those that we love and help us to keep your word and prayer in our hearts always. We ask for the understanding and wisdom that only comes from you. We will ever praise and worship you. May we ever trust and obey your voice. In Jesus name we pray…AMEN.
July 23, 2017