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What Is Obedience?

Introductory Thoughts

Diligent Bible study is commanded of God. However, far too many Christians simply fail to comprehend the depths and riches of God's words. For instance, society has distorted the meaning of obey by limiting obedience solely to following a set of commands. Although obedience certainly does involve following the rules, the Bible indicates a much broader application. Today's passage sheds light on obedience and the depth of its meaning. The Bible says that Israel “would not hear them, nor do them” (that is, hear or do the commandments of God). With this context, it is easy to understand that the Bible defines disobedience as the refusal to hear and do the commandments of the Lord. Other similar passages teach this same truth (1 Samuel 15:22; Proverbs 5:13; Jeremiah 17:23). Obedience is twofold: first, the individual must have an attentive ear, and second, he must act by faith.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Parents should incorporate visual demonstrations of obedience. Put three objects on the floor and ask your spouse or an older child to pick them all up. (Plan ahead by instructing your participant to only pick up two of the objects.) Explain to the younger children that this behaviour is not obedience.
  • (For everyone): Hearing and doing only part of what we are told to do is not obedience at all. Saul is an explicit example of this truth (1 Samuel 28:18). He did obey in part what God told him to do but the Lord told him, thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD.
  • Are you obedient? Why is it so very important to obey? To whom should we be obedient?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you a strong desire to obey.
  • Ask the Lord to teach you the true meaning of obedience


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