“As the Lord commanded his servant Moses,
so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it;
he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.”
Joshua 11:15 (NIV)
“But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.'” 1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)
John H. Sammis (1846-1919) is credited with writing more than 100 hymns, but none is as popular or beloved as the one entitled, Trust and Obey.
One day he was in the congregation when his hymn was announced. Because the service was going on too long the song leader said, “We will skip verse four.” Sammis got up and objected saying, “I wrote that hymn for verse four!”
The verse referred to goes as follows,:
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Several times in the book of Joshua there is the theme of obedience to the Lord. The success Joshua experienced in conquering the promised land was due directly to him giving up his own will for the will of the Lord.
Samuel carried on the same message (1 Samuel 15:22) as he rebuked King Saul for his disobedience to the Lord’s will. The Lord expects obedience from His children as much as any earthly parent expects obedience from their children.
Somehow in our society today there is a sense of rebellion in the human heart. It all started with our first parents Adam and Eve. Their sin in the Garden of Eden was that they went against the will of God and so brought condemnation on all of creation. We see a very different spirit in our Lord when He said: John 8:29 (NIV)
“The one who sent me is with me;
he has not left me alone,
for I always do what pleases him.”
If obedience was the great characteristic of our Lord’s life, so it ought to be what distinguishes us as followers of the Lord Jesus.
Perhaps today your joy has vanished because of some rebellion hiding in your heart. You no longer know the love of God in your heart because sin has crowded it out. Will you not turn back once more to the One Who loves you most and Who has done so much to make you His child? Come before Him today and pray with David Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”