The Value of Obedience

  • September 29, 2016
Thursday 29

John 14:23

Despite his years of fishing experience, Peter returned from a night’s work with nothing to show for it. The Lord’s request to let the nets down one more time perhaps struck him as unreasonable—after all, Peter and his partners were the professionals. Nevertheless, he complied, and his obedience blessed many.

Scripture demonstrates that divine plans often defy human logic. For instance, who would design a battle strategy that involved only marching and shouting? God told Joshua to conquer Jericho that way, and doing so proved successful (Josh. 6:1-5).

Moses is another example. When he felt unsure about his leadership potential, the Lord gave reassurance in an unusual way—by telling him to throw down his walking stick. When Moses obeyed, God powerfully confirmed His choice of a leader (Ex. 4:1-3).

Our Father may ask us to do something that seems illogical—perhaps to accept more responsibility when we were hoping to reduce our workload, to leave a position that He provided just recently, or to take on an assignment for which we feel ill-equipped. His plan might feel unrealistic in view of our age, stage of life, or health concerns. We must press forward in obedience, regardless of how impractical the request may appear.

To grasp the importance of obeying, think about children receiving instructions from parents or teachers. Careful listening is needed for the task to be done safely and properly. Some steps may seem pointless, but the rationale often becomes clear later. Always make obeying God your priority.

Bible in One Year: Zechariah 1-5

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23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.

2 The LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.

3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.

4 Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.

5 It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead."

1 Then Moses said, What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, `The LORD has not appeared to you.'"

2 The LORD said to him, What is that in your hand?" And he said, A staff."

3 Then He said, Throw it on the ground." So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.

1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo saying,

2 The LORD was very angry with your fathers.

3 Therefore say to them, `Thus says the LORD of hosts, Return to Me," declares the LORD of hosts, that I may return to you," says the LORD of hosts.

4 Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, `Thus says the LORD of hosts, Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds."' But they did not listen or give heed to Me," declares the LORD.

5 Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?

6 But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, `As the LORD of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.'"'"

7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, as follows:

8 I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him.

9 Then I said, My lord, what are these?" And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, I will show you what these are."

10 And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are those whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth."

11 So they answered the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet."

12 Then the angel of the LORD said, O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?"

13 The LORD answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words.

14 So the angel who was speaking with me said to me, Proclaim, saying, `Thus says the LORD of hosts, I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.

15 But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster."

16 Therefore thus says the LORD, I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it," declares the LORD of hosts, and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem."'

17 Again, proclaim, saying, `Thus says the LORD of hosts, My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem."'"

18 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there were four horns.

19 So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, What are these?" And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem."

20 Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.

21 I said, What are these coming to do?" And he said, These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man lifts up his head; but these craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it."

1 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring line in his hand.

2 So I said, Where are you going?" And he said to me, To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is."

3 And behold, the angel who was speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him,

4 and said to him, Run, speak to that young man, saying, `Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it.

5 For I,' declares the LORD, `will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'"

6 Ho there! Flee from the land of the north," declares the LORD, for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens," declares the LORD.

7 Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon."

8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

9 For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me.

10 Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," declares the LORD.

11 Many nations will join themselves to the LORD in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.

12 The LORD will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for He is aroused from His holy habitation."

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

2 The LORD said to Satan, The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"

3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel.

4 He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, Remove the filthy garments from him." Again he said to him, See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes."

5 Then I said, Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by.

6 And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying,

7 Thus says the LORD of hosts, `If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.

8 Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you--indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.

9 For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,' declares the LORD of hosts, `and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

10 In that day,' declares the LORD of hosts, `every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.'"

1 Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep.

2 He said to me, What do you see?" And I said, I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it;

3 also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side."

4 Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, What are these, my lord?"

5 So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, Do you not know what these are?" And I said, No, my lord."

6 Then he said to me, This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, `Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts.

7 What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of Grace, grace to it!"'"

8 Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.

10 For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel-- these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth."

11 Then I said to him, What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?"

12 And I answered the second time and said to him, What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?"

13 So he answered me, saying, Do you not know what these are?" And I said, No, my lord."

14 Then he said, These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth."

1 Then I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, there was a flying scroll.

2 And he said to me, What do you see?" And I answered, I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits."

3 Then he said to me, This is the curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land; surely everyone who steals will be purged away according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears will be purged away according to the writing on the other side.

4 I will make it go forth," declares the LORD of hosts, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name; and it will spend the night within that house and consume it with its timber and stones."

5 Then the angel who was speaking with me went out and said to me, Lift up now your eyes and see what this is going forth."

6 I said, What is it?" And he said, This is the ephah going forth." Again he said, This is their appearance in all the land

7 (and behold, a lead cover was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting inside the ephah."

8 Then he said, This is Wickedness!" And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening.

9 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens.

10 I said to the angel who was speaking with me, Where are they taking the ephah?"

11 Then he said to me, To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal."

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Publish Date January 20, 2019
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