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
In Hebrews 5:8-10 we read about the obedience of Christ.
Hebrews 11:8 Abraham’s obedience