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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obedience and the Blessings that Follow

Today we have a quick Bible tidbit. It has to do with obedience and blessings that follow.

My friend Bob Salmon pointed out this verse to me and what it implied. We talked about these two verses for twenty minutes. (FYI, if we did that with the whole Bible it would take 493 days).
Here is the set up. Saul is suppose to go into battle, but he has to wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifice. He gets afraid and decides to offer the sacrifice himself. Samuel then shows up and says this:

1 Samuel 13:13-14 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which he commanded you; for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel for ever. But now your kingdom shall not continue; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart; and the LORD has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."

So if King Saul would have continued down a road of faithfulness. God would have established his throne over Israel forever, but now it is taken from him and the tribe of Benjamin and given over to David and the tribe of Judah.

There are several tibits here. Jesus could have been born through the tribe of Benjamin being the heir to the king.

Yet even before any of this happens in Genesis 49:10 (Jacob prophecies saying) The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

We see that God knew that the throne would go to David and the tribe of Judah, that is why he says - "the scepter shall not depart from Judah."
Ultimately this involves the mystery of predestination and free will. God knows what will happen, yet he doesn't cause it to happen.

This also has the lesson in it - God desires obedience not sacrifice, and that we need to wait on the church. God’s timing is perfect, even if it seems like he might be late, he isn’t. He always shows up in time. For Saul it was a time of testing. He failed that test and the blessing went to someone else. The same thing is true for us. Some people during Vatican II said - the church will change its position on contraceptives, so they changed their practice and when Vatican II was said and done and Paul VI came out with Humane Vite, which is against contraception, many just flat out rebelled. So we need to be patient and obedient.

However, if you take the opposite position of Saul and be obedient, Christ will not only bless you with kingship, but with a dynasty of kings in your family. Spiritual kings that is. God wants to bless us, but we must be obedience children.

Now what if we sin? God knew that we would. He built into the church a path home through confession. We need to take advantage of it and ask for the grace and try to avoid that sin again. That is being obedient as well.

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