Question Text : What does God say about obedience?
Answer Text : One of the dictionary definitions of obedience is `humble respect`. God expects man to pay humble respect to all His laws. In fact, the very first sin of humanity was disobedience to the command of God. The word `sin` is a totally misunderstood term. When the Bible says all men are sinners, many are offended at that. When one realizes that the word `sin` in the Bible is a technical term and that it has special meaning attached to it in the Bible, the problem is somewhat solved. For example, the words `bug` and `virus` in a computer textbook are technical terms and they have special meanings attached to them. Unless those meanings are arrived at, one can never comprehend a computer textbook. 1Jn.5:17 defines what the Bible means by the word sin. `All wrongdoing is sin` (RSV).
In simple terms all mistakes are sins. Is there some one out there who has never ever made a mistake in life? The Bible categorizes all spiritual and moral mistakes as sins. If God expects man to obey Him and then when man disobeys, it is a mistake and therefore it is a sin. The Bible could not be clearer when it says, `And Samuel said, `Has the Lord much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed better than fat of rams` (1Sam.15:22). Why is there such an emphasis on obedience in the Bible? Are we to think that God is a cruel despot and He does not want anyone to think or do anything against Him as some people are prone to think? No, never. God is not a cruel despot at all. He is a God of love. Yes, indeed, God is love (1Jn.4:8,16). Why does the loving God expect every one of His creatures to obey Him always? The answer is very simple. Since He is our creator, He knows what is best for us. Psa.103 v.14 puts it so beautifully when it says, `He knows our frame`. He knows what is best for us. He also knows what is going to hurt us. And graciously He has revealed His laws to His people.
The Bible is like an operator’s manual. `He shows His Word to Jacob, His Precepts and His judgments to Israel`(Psa 147:19). He has not done so with any nation; and they have not known His judgments. Praise Jehovah!` (Psa 147:20). And that is why Ezekiel would ask, `Oh, House of Israel, why should you die?` Eze.18:31b). In His sovereign will, God has given man the ability to choose to obey Him or not to obey Him. But when man chooses to disobey Him, God knows it is going to hurt man. When man gets hurt, that is hurting God Himself (Is.63:9). That is why God says, `I have no delight in the death of the wicked` (Eze.18:23).
God hates disobedience and sin as it is going to hurt the sinner. In turn it is going to hurt God Himself. So let us remember that when ever we break a known command of God, we are hurting ourselves and in turn hurting the loving heart of God. Hence the talk about crucifying the Son of God afresh in Heb.6:6.