Obey #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter O

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

The word obey occurs over 150 times in the Bible. In the Old Testament there is a constant tension between times when the people obeyed God and when they did not. I was struck by the way God is portrayed as one who speaks. The people were to obey his voice and his commands.

The Old Covenant is set out in Deuteronomy, the second book of the law. (Leviticus is the first.) It is a binding agreement between God and his people.

God promises blessings for those who obey his commands. Deuteronomy 12:28

Contrast between obedience and disobedience Deuteronomy 28

In the New Covenant Jesus Christ has become the saviour allowing people to become children of God. There are still warnings about disobedience. Learning obedience is part of discipleship.

Abraham’s obedient servant

My master Abraham is a good man. When he told me that he’d like to send me back to his home country, although I had no choice in the matter, I went willingly..

That was when he told me some stories about his earlier life. He wasn’t always called Abraham. I’d need to know that to explain my identity and his to his countrymen. They knew him as Abram many long years ago.

He told me about his call from God telling him to leave Ur and go to a country, which the Lord would show him. About his promises from God that he would be the father of many nations. And about meeting Melchizedek the priest.

How he became the father of Ishmael and of Isaac, Sarah’s miracle baby. Her name had changed too; she used to be Sarai back in Ur.

Isaac’s name means, ‘He laughs’. Both Abraham and Sarah laughed at the promise of a child in their old age.

And now Sarah is dead and Isaac is old enough to be married.

That’s why I had to make the journey to Ur. Abraham didn’t want his son to marry a local girl. His hope was that he would marry a fellow countrywoman.

It was a responsible task for me and not without danger, but there was not much I wouldn’t do for this family.

Abraham was known as a prophet because he heard the Lord speaking and told us all what he had been promised. He encouraged us to listen to the Lord’s voice and to talk to Him too. I’m not sure I ever really believed in the Lord until I was approaching Ur. I realised he had guided me there, but what now?

Then I prayed to God, ‘I don’t know how I’ll be able to find a bride for Isaac. Perhaps if I wait by this well one of the young women will offer me a drink and water for my camels.’

That is exactly what happened. A young woman came to the well with a water jar on her head. When she saw me, she offered me a drink. Then she provided water for my camels. I asked her who she was. I knew my prayer had been answered, she was a member of Abraham’s family!

I went to meet her parents and both they and she were willing for her to marry Isaac without unnecessary delay.

Rebekah and her maids travelled back with me and the rest, as they say, is history!

Abraham’s story is told in Genesis 12-25

The servant’s story is based on Genesis 12:1-5, Genesis 14:18-20, Genesis 17:1-19, Genesis 23:1-2, Genesis 24

Further reading:

In Hebrews 5:8-10 we read about the obedience of Christ.

Hebrews 11:8 Abraham’s obedience

James 3

1 John 5:2


Bless #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter BBless is a word often heard in conversation. Blessed is sometimes used as an alternative to a swear word. In modern translations of the Bible it is sometimes replaced by ‘happy’. Church services frequently end with a blessing. We are taught to count our blessings rather than grumble about minor troubles.

The words Bless, blessed and blessing are found many times in the Bible. Many important characters in the Bible give or receive a blessing.

In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God blesses Noah Genesis 9:1 and Abraham Genesis 12:2, Genesis 22:17

The story of Noah is well known, because he built an ark to save his family and the animals from a great flood. Abraham became the father of many nations.

Jesus Christ is recorded as having included a list of things, which make people blessed in his sermon on the mount. These are known as the Beatitudes and are frequently read in church services. Matthew 5:1-12

Jacob cheated his elder brother Esau, receiving their blind father’s blessing instead of Esau. Genesis 27:1-40

Moses’ Blessing

Can you imagine being told by the king that if your baby was a boy it must be drowned in the river?
That is what happened to Moses’ mother.

Moses was born at a time when the Israelites were living in Egypt. The Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh, was oppressing them. He was worried that they were becoming too numerous, so he ordered that all male Israelite babies should be drowned in the river Nile. Moses mother hid him for three months. Then she waterproofed a basket and placed him in it. She placed it in reeds at the edge of the river, leaving her daughter to watch from a distance. Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby and took pity on him. Moses’ sister asked her if she would like a wet-nurse for him. Moses’ own mother was paid to look after him! Later he went to live in the court as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

Moses was aware that he was a Hebrew. He intervened between an Egyptian and a Hebrew, killing the Egyptian and hiding the body in the sand. Later he tried to intervene between two Hebrews and learned that the killing was known. He ran away, because Pharaoh wanted to kill him.

For a long time he lived in Midian, where he married and became a father. Then, after he had heard God speaking to him from a bush that seemed to be on fire, he returned to Egypt to help the Israelites. Throughout his life he spoke to God and God spoke to him, guiding him and through him the people of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Moses received the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). He also learned how the priest should bless the people with the words of a blessing, which is still used today. Numbers 6:22-27

Further reading: Exodus (My story is a shortened version of the book of Exodus.)