Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 12 No. 8 August 2010
Page 7

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

How Do We Obey God? Very Carefully!

Marilyn LaStrape

God gives us life, breath and all things because He is God. God has always protected and provided the best for those who obey Him because He is God. His generosity is unequaled!

We are made aware of just how loving, generous and protective God was and is from the earliest existence of mankind. After God created Adam, Genesis 2:15-17 reads; “Then the LORD God put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Eve, as she was talking to the serpent said, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Genesis 3:2-3).

God always allows the most and restricts the least. This is evident in the days of the week that He has given humanity. God has given us six days to do whatever we feel we need to do to make an honest living, taking care of family, socializing, vacationing, etc. However, He has commanded us to worship on Sunday, the first day of the week. What if He had commanded work for one day and worship six days? How would that work for us?

To make sure we understand exactly what God had restricted, He told Adam and Eve they could eat of every tree of the garden except one. He did not tell them they could eat of only one tree and no other! It should also be noted that Eve added to what God had told Adam when she told the serpent that they could not touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God never said that.

God had given Adam and Eve one command and they broke it! They both knew what that command was, but they were both careless rather than careful in their choice and decision. The result of their disobedience is well known. They lost their paradise home and were driven out of the Garden of Eden. We as the human race continue to suffer the ramifications of that choice of disobedience!

In stark contrast to the first couple, Noah obeyed God very carefully in the building of the ark in its dimensions, structure and material. God told Noah to build the ark from gopher good with compartments. The ark was to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. The ark was to have one window and one door; it also was to have lower, second and third decks. God further commanded Noah in the gathering of the animals, male and female both clean and unclean (Genesis 6:14-20).

God protected and provided for Noah and his family because of their obedience. God told Noah in Genesis 6:21, “And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; it shall be food for you and for them.” Genesis 6:22 says, “Thus Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” Genesis 7:5 states, “And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.” All other people in the world were lost!

Following commands down to the last and most meticulous detail is revealed to us again in the pattern, the dimensions, the materials and the correct method of conveying another ark. As God had commanded Noah, He also commanded Moses in Exodus 25:10-15 on how this ark was to be constructed and transported. God had said, “And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around. You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners…and you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.

First Chronicles 13 is the account of King David and his experience with this ark of God. David said this ark had not been inquired at since the days of Saul. Therefore, David assembles all Israel together to transport the ark of God. Scripture says in verses 7-10, “So they carried the ark of God on a new cart… Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might… Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.” The last four verses of the chapter record David’s anger and then his fear at what had happened. He then asked, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?”

In 1 Chronicles 15:1-15, David is building houses for himself, and he is preparing a place for the ark of God. He lets the people know that no one was to carry the ark but the Levites. Uzza was a Levite, but the ark of God had been placed on a cart drawn by oxen. By whose authority?

On this occasion, David called for the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites to sanctify themselves to bring up the ark of God to the place he had prepared. He then says to them in verse 13, “For because you did not do it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.” Verses 14 and 15 record their very careful obedience. “So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.”

Frank J. Dunn in his book, Know Your Bible, makes several observations about the Book of Deuteronomy, which capture our attention. “Deuteronomy gives one of the clearest statements in the Bible of the necessity and results of obedience, as well as the consequences of disobedience. In no other book are the ways of obedience and disobedience more dramatically contrasted. Obedience is the way of ‘life and good;’ disobedience is the way of ‘death and evil’ (30:15).”

The following are just a few of the numerous discourses that Moses spoke to God’s people declaring His law and the life application expected in obedience to those laws. Deuteronomy 6:24-25 - “And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.” Deuteronomy 28:1 - “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.” Deuteronomy 31:12-13 - “Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess.”

We, like the people of Adam’s day, Noah’s day, Moses’ day, David’s day and all others, will seek to obey God very carefully! Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 5:15-16, “See then that you walk circumspectly [carefully], not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Those who are careful to do as God has commanded will be in heaven eternally!

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