Obedience! Obedience! Obedience!

1 Samuel 15:3, 21 “Utterly destroy all . . . oxen, sheep, camels and donkeys.” . . . ‘But the people took some of the spoil.’”

1 Samuel 16:1 “’How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go!’”

Matthew 1:24  “Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife.”

Observation: The readings for today reinforce to my heart this one theme: Obey God! In 1 Samuel 15, Saul only partially obeyed. He did in fact go to war, but he didn’t do as God demanded. Rather, he kept the best of the animals, cowardly blaming his disobedience on “the people,” then trying to justify disobedience by telling God he did it so he could sacrifice to God. God’s response was to tear the kingdom from Saul and to allow mental instability to overtake him.

In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel was grieving over Saul, and was fearful of obeying God’s command to anoint a new king because he thought Saul would hear of it and kill him. God’s paraphrased response was, “Get over it!” In other words, “Be obedient. Now.”

Finally, in Matthew 1:24, by his response, Joseph proved himself the best of these three men. 

All Joseph could have known in the natural was that his fiancée was pregnant, and he knew he wasn’t the one who had impregnated her. But in a dream, he heard an angel of the Lord tell him to marry her anyway. When he awoke, he simply arose and did as he had been told. In a dream, no less! 

Application: Amazing! The church is quick to celebrate Mary, and indeed she was a remarkable young girl, uniquely favored by God, and uniquely responsive to Him. But how about her young husband Joseph, with nothing to rely on but a dream, choosing instantly to obey? 

How many hours of quiet time must he have logged to have a heart so attuned to hearing and obeying God? What must his secret life in God have been like? For how many years had his heart longed for relationship with God? We don’t hear much more about him; he really never had a public presence in the Scriptures, but everything we do hear is remarkably consistent.

Prayer: Oh God! Give me a Joseph heart. Make me quick to hear and obey.

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