Three Types of Obedience

In Adam and Eve, the obedience was nil. Adam's excuse before God was: "The woman that you gave me...". While the excuse of the woman was: "The snake deceived me and I ate". The consequences? Their deprivation from the glory of God and the transfer of their sin and its consequences to the whole of humanity. For that reason God "drove man out" (Gn. 3:24).

In king Saul, the obedience was partial. The excuse? "The people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen" (1 S.15:15). "But people took from the spoil ... the choicest of the cursed objects to offer sacrifices to Jehovah" (15:21). The consequences? Saul was discarded as king (15:23).

In our Lord Jesus Christ, the obedience was total and perfect. The excuse? None. The consequences? "He came to be author of eternal salvation to all those that obey him" (Hebrew 5:8-9). He was exalted to the highest place and received a name that is above every name (Philippians 2:8-9).

Adam and Saul both failed gravely in paying attention to the Word of God and they conformed themselves to their own criteria, or to that of a third party. They removed the judgment of God from its place and chose their own judgment ahead of it. Their desires and individual pretensions could achieve more than the expressed will of the Lord. (did they think they were wiser than God?). Instead of recognizing their sin, they blamed others. Their decision brought lamentable, terrible consequences, as much to their own lives as to their descendants. In the case of Saul, the people and his servants also suffered by reason of the king's madness.

The lesson? Their disobedience is a solemn warning and admonishment to us, "upon whom the ends of the ages have come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). Disobedience is not only a lamentable inheritance, but a reenforceable habit.

Christ's Spirit that is in us leads us to know and to obey with diligence the will of God expressed in His Word. If even so, either through error, weakness or ignorance, we fall into the sin of disobedience, we should hurry to recognize our faults and sins, humbling ourselves and sanctifying ourselves to the Lord. May the Lord set us free from the nonsense of blaming others.

The contrast of Adam and Saul with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ is more than evident. The Lord's life of continual obedience was not altered even by the greatest tribulation. On the contrary, His sufferings displayed the deepest love and reverent fear toward His Father who was looking down on Him from heaven. "Behold I come, oh God, to do your will".

Nothing, nor anyone could prevent such a purpose from being thoroughly fulfilled. His continual communion with and dependence upon the Father mark out for us the way to victory (in fact, He Himself is our Way), since only in this manner will we be permanently conscious of the Lord, of His holiness and His kingdom, and we will be free from the continuous influences and temptations that surround us. We won't fear men, and we will always endeavor to please the One who enlisted us as soldiers.

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