Lucky are those who are taught to be obedient by their parents.
The following scripture has always bugged me.
They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals.
When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6: 3-7 NIV)
Why did God kill Uzzah? He was just trying to keep the ark from falling. He was just trying to be helpful. I’m sure his intentions were good, but good intentions still don’t change the fact that Uzzah disobeyed the rules regarding the ark. The ark could not be touched. God requires his people to be obedient.
One person who had a very difficult time with obedience was King Saul.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
“What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, I thought ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
“You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” (1 Samuel 13: 7b-14 NIV)
Saul also didn’t obey when he attacked the Amalekites. God rejected him as king over Israel. He was punished for his disobedience.
I wonder how many of us are guilty of receiving instructions from God and then ignoring those instructions. We might say to ourselves, “I really don’t want to do that. I will do something else for God.” Or we may not even seek God’s will. We just charge ahead. Then we get upset because it doesn’t work out the way we hoped it would.
When I was still teaching, my students would ask me if they could help me with something. I would tell them that they could help me most by doing what I had asked them to do. The same went for my children.
There are many scriptures which talk about God’s blessings for obedience and God’s punishment for disobedience.
God requires our obedience, just like parents require obedience from their children. He will be faithful to bless us for our obedience. I haven’t always been perfectly obedient, but I have been abundantly blessed when I have been obedient. God’s blessings are worth more than gold and well worth seeking.