OBEDIENCE and RIGHTEOUSNESS HAVE BENEFIT…


Deuteronomy 7:12-16 – “Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers. 13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle. 15 And the LORD will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you. 16 And you shall consume all the peoples whom the LORD your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.”  NASB

There is a progression in this passage that is worthy of note.  I love the way verse 12 begins, “Then it shall come about, because you listen…”  Wow!  Imagine that, listening has benefit.  Tragically too frequently we want God to listen to us give Him our list of requests, requirements, needs, and desires.  He virtually becomes the supermarket, shopping center, or candy store for many believers.  Prayer to them is telling God what they want then without commitment, investment, or involvement having Him provide. 

Here we discover that God says, “There are some benefits to listening to my judgment, requirements, and commandments.”  But if we only make it hearing the words, we miss what listening is all about.  To Listen is to not only hear and understand but to obey or do what is being instructed.  It is following through on the directions given.  It is fulfilling the desire of the one speaking.  No wonder some wives say to their husbands, “You never listen to me.” 

I told a couple once, “When the wife speaks and you hear her words but fail to respond positively to them, you are not listening, and she is justified in her complaint that you do not listen.”  Of course, the converse of that is also true, if the wife treats the husband as we treat God, the doer of our deeds she is not deserving of him listening.  Balance must be achieved in that both parties in the relationship have the best interest of the other at heart.  God always has our best interest at heart, and if we are to complete the cycle, we must have His in our hearts.  We are to ‘seek first’ the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  We are to pray for His Kingdom to come to and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

He says, in this passage, that true listening produces some incredible benefits.  He will keep His covenant and demonstrate His longsuffering and lovingkindness.  He will bless us, multiplying us and that is more than simply giving us a house full of kids.  It is our seed, our produce, and our protection.  It is to have Him become our healer and protector against infectious disease and other harmful things attempting to attack.  It is to become empowered by the Spirit of God to enable us to ‘pull down strongholds’ and ‘overcome the enemy.’ 

Although we cannot earn God’s Grace, we can have His favor and should never forget the declaration of Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:22 that “Obedience is better than sacrifice…”  God wants His children to “come out from among them and be separate.”  No, He is not asking us to isolate and insulate from the world but to infect the world with our faith and demonstrate His favor as we walk in obedience. 

The Psalmist informs us that the Psalms 33:18-19 – “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.”  My encouragement is to seek to please the LORD in all things and at all times, making Him first in your life.

God bless you as you enjoy His benefits of obedience!  Have a Great Day in Jesus!