And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go (Exodus 5:2). Pharaoh could not obey because he did not know “whom” he should obey! The Bible says, that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14), but until that day comes, those who know the LORD God Almighty, need to be sharing about Him and His grace to those who don’t.
Obedience comes with knowledge. If one does not know who the LORD is, how will they obey him? Our responsibility is to make Him known and the responsibility of those who know him is to obey Him.
Exodus 5:2 (KJV)
2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
The following account is recorded in the Holy Scripture in the first book of Samuel chapter 15.
Requirement: of God for Saul, the appointed king of Israel was to utterly destroy the sinners (Amalekites, led by king Agag) and everything that belonged to them. No one (including their livestock) was to be spared.
Response: of Saul, the appointed king of Israel was not total obedience; He spared king Agag and the best of the land.
Reason: that Saul gave was that he wished to sacrifice what he had spared as an offering to the LORD.
Result: of Saul’s action was rejection. God rejected Saul from continuing to be the king of Israel.
Though Saul’s reason sounds superficially as a good reason, but in reality it was not. Why, God wanted to completely (utterly) destroy sin and avenge His people. But the appointed king (Saul), disappointed the King of kings by not totally obeying God’s commandment (requirement). To OBEY is better than sacrifice!
Point(s) to ponder:
1. What may seem like a good reason (even if it is about sacrificing and worshipping God) can be unacceptable if it contradicts what God has commanded us to.
2. Disobedience (even partial disobedience) can lead to total rejection from God.
3. Total obedience is better than any sacrifice we can give to God.
1 Samuel 15:22 (KJV)
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
When growing up, I learnt the song, Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to Trust and Obey. But it was not until recently that I learned from the Bible that Trust and Obedience are like two sides of the same coin. After one places their trust in Jesus, they must Obey Him. This is the next step that one must take after they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Scripture to inherit eternal life (Hebrews 5:9). Not every one that saith unto Him, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth (obeys) the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). Beyond belief comes obedience.
Points to ponder:
Have you/I believed in Jesus Christ? If you/I have, do you/I obey Him and do the will of God the Father?
Hebrews 5:8-9 (KJV)
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;