In continuation of my previous piece “Is Obedience an Imperative and Prerequisite Demand? (I)”, I would continue as thus:
Let’s delve a bit into what the book of Truth highlights, using epic men as samples.
One epic and pivotal figure of the faith, and also the father of faith had his life and walk with God founded upon obedience.
Let us carry out a peripheral anatomy of his life.
The account scriptures gives us says thus. Gen. 12.
“1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran” Gen. 12: 1- 4.
Observe the reckless abandon with which the father of faith obeyed. It will amaze you that his obedience was not complete, because he took Lot with him, contrary to “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” Probably that was why he had to wait as long as he did just to have Isaac, I believe so because it was after he had separated ways with Lot that the blessing of a heir became a reality to him and the wife Sarah. Notice my emphasis, ‘probably.’
“6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” Gen. 15: 16
Belief here definitely has everything to do with obedience.
“9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant” Gen. 12: 9- 14.
Observe what follows in the next few verses.
“23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. 24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him” Gen. 12: 23- 26.
Absolute obedience without contention or intellectual reasoning.
The resultant of these acts of “reckless” obedience was that God went into series of covenants with Abraham, prospered him, called him a friend, and he was given the chance to intercede and negotiate with God for the city of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Let’s see more instances:
“1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son” Gen. 22: 1- 13.
See what happened next:
“14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. 15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.” Gen. 22: 14- 19.
God doesn’t not need to be serious to commit Himself to a man, He could do it jokingly. In the case of Abraham, God was not only serious, rather he sought for one greater than Himself and found none therefore he swore by Himself. All these because a man of radical faith choose to obey against all odds and intellectual calculation.
“13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:”Heb. 6: 13- 17.
Amazing how believers live in gross rebellion, lawlessness and lack simple governance, yet claim to be children of Abraham and lay claim to his blessings. If this was how the blessing was pounced forth (as seen the above scripture), then want makes the average ‘rebel’ think he or she has a stake?
It is demanded of us carry out God’s instruction which was mete to us in the secret place and cease sharing with the world before acting. If Abraham
Had shared the instruction with Sarah his wife, there would have been no way Sarah would have allowed him to go ahead.
Let that which was spoken in the secret place remain in the secret place unless when given the permission to say it out in the public. This in itself is a level of maturity in walking with God.
One great Patriarch who’s story is reckoned with by men of all races and all believes is the man Moses.
After His encounter with God at the sight of a burning bush that was not consumed, his life showed an experience of receiving instructions and commensurate obedience. In fact, it was disobedience that ended his walk upon the earth surface.
Moses argued with God even after he was given several signs. After the much contentions, he finally yielded and went before Pharaoh even though he was not in doubt what pharaoh could do to him; he knew he had the backing of heaven. Exodus chapters 3 and 4 gives us the account.
It would be great if we look at a couple of ironical cases.
Moses: a man God described as the meekest man on earth (3Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Num. 12: 3, whom God showed His face (11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend…………….) Exo. 33: 11, a man who was graced to function as a prophet under the messianic spirit; a leader and a man of God; yet anger led to disobedience and this brought about his end.
I wrote in my recently published piece, “Is There a Cause to My Existence and Life?(I)” and “Is There a Cause to My Existence and Life?(II)” that Moses did not need to die the way he did, David was a great king, probably the greatest Israel ever had, in old age, he stepped aside and watched his son Solomon rule in his stead. It is the desire of every good father that he watches his son take over and handle more proficiently the empire he will be leaving behind; and not to die suddenly and cast responsibilities on the shoulders of ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unprepared’ heirs.
“7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 8 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. 9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 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. 12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. 13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.”Num.20: 7- 13.
Observe the instruction given, the line of action carried out by Moses, and how far rebellion gets anyone.
Men highly placed are not dealt with lightly whenever they rebel, this is because they are pivotal and influential, gathering followers who are not pertinent about details but rather follow even without understanding. This act is called faith and trust.
“48 And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying, 49 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: 50 And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people: 51 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. 52 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.” Deut. 32: 48- 52.
“4 And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. 5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.”Deut. 34: 4- 6
This part of scripture is tagged ‘The Blessings of Obedience’: “1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. 6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. 11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: 14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”Deut. 28: 1- 14.
The verses that follow after are the opposite (curses) in case of the reverse (disobedience).
I will continue on this in the later series.