To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Archive for the ‘Obediance’ Category

Noah Is Obedient

Amidst all the sin and degradation described in Genesis 6 we come across a man who found favour in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8b). His Name was Noah. Noah was a man who knew the gracious favour of the Lord undeservingly upon his life.

This grace was thereafter reflected in a life of obedience. It is striking how he was a man who moved in obedience to the call of God. So we see these statements.

  • Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him (Gen. 6:22). This was after the Lord had given the specification for how the ark should be built.
  • And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him (Gen 7:5). This was after the Lord had given Noah instructions about his entering the ark.
  • Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah (Gen 7:8-9). This is the comment upon Noah entering the ark.
  • They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in (Gen. 7:15-16). Again in going into the ark Noah has done all he was called to do.
  • Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him (Gen. 8:15-18). In Gen 8:13-14 we read how the earth had been dry for 57 days. But Noah would only move when God said.

And so it must be with us. We must move in obedience to the holy will of the Lord. Blessed people are obedient people. It is of course that way around. The error that many religions peddle is that obedience leads to salvation. This is a lie. No! It is rather the case that blessing leads to obedience.

Those who find favour in the eyes of the Lord by being granted faith to believe in the Saviour who is Jesus Christ the Lord, display such in the ensuing obedient life. We can talk and talk; we can profess and profess some more, but all is meaningless unless there is obedience.

God Left Him.

In 2 Chronicles 32:31 we read these words concerning Hezekiah. But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

These are sobering words concerning the sovereign works of our God. Two things we need to remember as we consider these words are that:

  • The Lord loves us as His people and is working everything so that we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Saviour.
  • The Lord has promised never to leave us or forsake us. (see Hebrews 13:5 quoting from Deuteronomy 31:6)

But what do these words mean concerning Hezekiah? He obviously went through a time of not feeling anything of God. He had no felt awareness of the Lord working.

In all this God was working to give him a clear examination. Was Hezekiah only doing the Lord’s will because of the evidence of the Lord in his life. Or was Hezekiah doing God’s will because it was God’s will and that is all that matters. We must obey our kind heavenly father not because He is with us, but because of who He is.

How do I respond when I am not feeling the presence of God? How do I respond when there seems to be a barrenness and a coldness in my soul. Do I still seek to please Him even when I have no feelings for such?

 

 

How Much Would I Give?

So on last Monday evening at about 10.30 in the foyer linking Manchester Arena and Victoria Station a man laid down his life for the cause he had affiliated with and sold himself to. He gave himself for a false religion, based on lies. And in doing that he wreaked devastation, killing 22, wounding many others (some grievously) and traumatizing a vast number and that is not even to mention the damage to property. This man seems to have done this in full possession of his senses. He seems to have acted with pre-meditated intent.

Which all leaves me to ponder upon how much would I give: for the One

  • who is the way the truth and the life.
  • who gave Himself to death on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.
  • who is now alive in the glory and is there in heaven for me,
  • who has given me eternal life which can never be taken from me.

In Romans 12:1, after Paul in the opening part of the part of the book, has laid out before the Romans all the glorious truths regarding our salvation, we read  Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Sacrifice means laying my life every day at His disposal. Everyday I should die to self and live for him. One day that may mean my life taken from me, but I should know that that is alright if it is in obedience to Him.

In 1 John 3:16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Our faith is a self-sacrificial faith. Are we willing to give all for the benefit of others in obedience to our Master?

So what holds me back from this consecration? Surely so very often it is the fear of man. I won’t speak up, I won’t stand out for fear of what others will think. Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe is what Proverbs 29:25 says. Oh let us trust the Lord, fear Him and be willing to obey Him whatever the cost.

Philip, won’t you give Him more so much more.

Getting It Right.

Yesterday we left Uzzah dead; dead because the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God (2 Sam. 6:7). This month we are introduced to an angry David; angry because God has killed Uzzah. However, the story does not end there. Let us see in 2 Samuel 6:9-23 how David gets it right and is changed from an angry man to a praising and effective man.

The fear of the LORD The situation starts to change in v9 when we are told that David was afraid of the Lord that day ( 2 Sam. 6:9a). We are always on the right track when the fear of the Lord descends upon us. When we appreciate the greatness of our God, then we always in a position where things might start to move forward. When David’s anger with the Lord subsided and he started to properly appreciate the situation in a godly way then he was gripped by the fear of the Lord. God had come in judgement and David feared such a God.

Carefulness. The casual attitude previously observed with regard to the ark of God was now replaced by a careful thoughtful consideration of what a significant article this ark was. After all, the ark did represent the actual presence of God among His people. Actually, David now, initially, seems to swing too far the other way. He was now so in awe that He felt that he could not bring the ark back to Jerusalem. However, he did not just leave behind the ark rather he made sure it would be cared for in the house of Obed-Edom (see v10).

The presence of God brings blessing. Many people are falsely kept from coming to Christ because they feel it will spoil their lives. However, God’s overwhelming desire is to bless. We read in 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. God wants to bless. David comes to realise this when he receives reports that the house of Obed-Edom has been mightily blessed whilst having the ark of God present.

Obedience Encouraged by this David now ventures to bring the ark up to Jerusalem. He does so with great delight. The delight here though is appropriately conditioned by a desire to please the Lord. When the attempt had originally been made to bring the ark back to Jerusalem the delight did not have this control. We need to notice in particular at the beginning of v13 that the ark is being carried. The clear implication is that the requirements of the law of God in Numbers 4:15 are being followed.

Offerings Previously all the excitement at bringing the ark back had failed to include the making of offerings. There was lots noise and clamour, but no true worship. Relentlessly throughout the law the people of Israel were taught that in order to come before their holy Lord God they needed offerings. We cannot come in our own merit before the Lord we come on the basis of a life given up. David appears to have learned the lesson and rectified the situation He was almost immediately making offerings. We read on v13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. This reminds us to soak all of our lives in the finished work of Christ. Always we should be aware that we need the offering of Christ for us to have access to our heavenly Father. The Lord has given us a weekly opportunity in church to visibly remind us of the offering of Christ, the Lord’s Supper. We always miss out when we fail to participate in this great remembrance feast.

Energy True worship is not boring. Half-heated worship is very likely to be boring. David certainly was not half-hearted. He was engaging with the Lord with a passion. And others were joining in. Perhaps if you worshipped in church with a bit more passion others might be lifted and the whole service would be lifted.

True thankfulness. When a job is finished we can very easily fall into the trap of just breathing a sigh of relief and getting on with the next job. David was certainly not going to be guilty of this. As soon as the ark is safely in Jerusalem he is again bringing offerings (see v17) to show his thankfulness to the Lord. He sets us a good example.

Sharing the blessing There was a danger that the people would be very wary of the ark because of what had happened to Uzzah. David, though, wanted all to know that the ark meant blessing. His blessing of the people and sharing of bread and cakes was surely meant to convey this. Everybody tasted of the blessing is what we learn when we are told that both the men and the women received (see v19).

Not all will appreciate God’s blessings. We are first informed of the lack of appreciation that Michal David’s wife had for the Lord and His blessing in v16. She despised David for his exuberant worship. If we are devoted to the Lord it is very possible that others will not appreciate this at all. Sadly in church this can happen when those who fervently seek the Lord can be mocked. This should never be. How sad it was for David that his wife had no appreciation of his love for God. As an interesting, but sad footnote we read in v23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death. This was ever a sign in Old Covenant days of the disfavour of God.

We live before GodDavid had started to get things together when the fear of the Lord came over his soul. And in his altercation with his wife it was an acknowledgement of the Lord which took priority. Fear of man will prove to be a snare (Prov. 29:25a) says Solomon. Let us make sure that we always make sure that the pleasing of the Lord has precedence.

As we see the situation turned around and the ark was brought back to Jerusalem let us learn from the conduct of David. Let get the right attitude to the Lord and put Him first. Like David we need to learn from our failures and other experiences of life and align our lives with God’s purposes.

(Taken and adapted from Feltham Evangelical Church Newsletter of Dec 2012)

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