In Genesis 16 we read the story of the birth and prophecies about Ishmael. He was the son of Abraham by his wife’s servant, Hagar. Sarah was impatient for a child, so she gave her servant, Hagar, to her husband to bare him a child. When it actually happened, though, the relationship between the women fell apart. Is it any wonder so many surrogate pregnancies today create so much turmoil? Like so many children from broken homes, the rejected child turned out a trouble maker. Abraham and his wife did not trust the Lord and when they did things their own way the result was trouble.
Nehemiah 5 picks up with a public debate over commercial slavery. The people wanted to be free to support themselves, but when times were tough they were forced to sell themselves into slavery to eat. Nehemiah railed against those in power who were trading the people’s lives away instead of helping them. Once again, God said to trust and obey and people suffered the consequences of disobedience.
Several exciting things happen in Matthew 15, but one important theme sticks out. Jesus explains what is right and why it is right. He calls out the hypocrisy of those who claim to be doing God’s will, yet obey human will instead.
Paul quotes Hosea when he writes in Romans 1:17 that the righteous shall live by faith. He then goes on to explain that God’s wrath rests on those who obey ungodly human will instead of submitting to God’s will.
I don’t know about you, but every time I get this lesson it a hard one. Still, it is probably one of the most vital. Trust and obey. I would love to say how God’s rewarded me for my wonderful obedience. But that would be a lie. Maybe that’s why God keeps telling me to trust Him, to rely on Him, and to simply shut up and obey. In my experience it has always gone better when I’ve done that and not so well when I’ve gone my own way. My way seems right, but it always leads me to trouble. God’s way often seems foolish to me, yet those times I do obey the result is always joy.
Lord, forgive my stubborn streak. Lead me. Help me obey. I’m yours. Amen.