…[T]hey hear thy words, but they will not do them…. ~Ezekiel 33:31b
One of the greatest tests of character is our obedience. Obedience is doing what you have been told to do. It is doing it immediately after you have received instructions and doing it exactly as described. God raised up Ezekiel as His prophet during the time that Judah was under Babylonian captivity. God told Ezekiel, “They hear what I told you to tell them, but they are not doing it.” This morning, let us see the importance of doing something about it.
We see the commands.
God’s Word includes commands, instructions, precepts, judgments, and statutes to us. They are given to us in clear and understandable words. They are given to guide our path, for our spiritual safety, and so that God is honored and pleased with our life. God’s commands are given to optimize our success and to have God’s hand on our life. Without God’s commands, we drift into lawlessness and covetousness. All of God’s commands are for our good, and none of them are grievous.
We see the contempt.
The tendency of our sinful nature is to be spiteful of God’s commands. God told Ezekiel, “[T]hey hear thy words, but they will not do them.” James describes the contempt of God’s Word as a man who looks into a mirror and sees his image, but has forgotten what manner of man he is. God’s Word is a mirror that reflects exactly what we are. Nothing about us is hidden. However, a contemptuous spirit rejects the commands and walks away, forgetting what the Word has shown him.
We see the condemnation.
“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:13a). It is a fearful thing to disobey God’s commands. God will not answer the prayers of anyone who does not keep His commandments. God chastens us in order to correct us. Where there is continued defiance and disregard for God’s Word, there is a sin unto death. Solomon says despisers of God’s Word are destroyed. We must avoid coming to the place in life where God’s Word is despised and rejected.
We see the compliance.
The hymn writer wrote, “When we walk with the Lord/in the light of His Word/what a glory He sheds on our way/When we do His good will/He abides with us still/And with all who will trust and obey/Trust and obey/for there’s no other way/To be happy in Jesus/but to trust and obey.” Obedience is the pathway to God’s blessings. Compliance is doing something about it. Compliance is being moved to action. Compliance is not lip service, but love service. It is putting God first in everything and seeking His kingdom goals as our priority in life. Compliance is demonstrating our love for God and living out His Word for His glory and our benefit.
This morning, let’s do something about God’s commands. Don’t let them fall to the ground. Be proactive. Be responsive. Be quick to hear and quick to undertake. Do not put off being obedient. Have faith in God’s Word and that He always has our best interest in mind in all things.
Have an obedient God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Nahum 1-3