October 24, 2015

Genesis 22:18 “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

I feel like this is a continuation of what the Lord was saying yesterday. We never know the consequences of our obedience to God, and conversely, the consequences of our disobedience, until after the fact, and even then our awareness is highly limited. Moses tried to offset that with extensive lists of blessings and curses for obedience and disobedience, (Deuteronomy 28) but we aren’t very good at paying attention to such things. Abraham certainly didn’t dream that God would send His Son to be born as a human baby by one of his descendants! It comes down to what a well-loved hymn says: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.” We need to trust that our obedience will produce good results, for us, for those around us, and even for succeeding generations. If we refuse that and try to forge our own path apart from God, we will not only miss all the blessings of obedience, we will bring on ourselves more bad consequences than we can now imagine. As God said to Abraham, these things ripple down through multiple generations. I have seen a listing of the descendants of two representative people from before the American Revolution, one upright God-fearer and one reprobate. It was really quite striking. The man who feared God had judges, ministers, statesmen and the like among his descendants, and the reprobate had criminals of all sorts, in general the dregs of society. Our obedience or disobedience doesn’t affect just us.

I am the beneficiary of multiple generations of people who loved and served God. I didn’t choose my ancestors, certainly, so there can be no pride of accomplishment in that, but there is deep gratitude. The point is, I must not take the blessings for granted. My disobedience can cut me out of the flow of blessing that was started and added to by my ancestors, and I don’t want that! Rather, I need to seek to be an open conduit for those blessings to continue to grow and multiply. How that happens isn’t much under my control, but whether it happens is. I need to choose obedience at every turn, in seemingly small things as well as big, because I never know how big those things will eventually turn out to be. A kind word spoken at the right time can even avert a suicide, for example. I want to be fully available for all of God’s purposes.

Father, thank You for Your grace, and for the awareness that it’s all grace. Help me never take that grace for granted, but operate in grateful obedience at all times. You are taking us through a training/testing time that isn’t always pleasant. Help us trust You enough to be fully obedient every moment, whatever we feel like, so that Your purposes may be fulfilled for us and for those around us, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!