Blessing Through Obedience

Blessing Through Obedience

How often have you actually heard people say that blessings come through obedience? Or how many times were you told during Church services that blessings follow obedience? What does the Bible teach about this matter? Does God really require His people to obey Him in order for them to receive His blessings?

Today, I would like us to have a Bible study on obedience. We are going to look at what the Bible, the written Word of God, has to say about obeying God.

When the Israelites, under the leadership of Moses were on their way out of Egypt where they were enslaved for 430 years, God promised to bless them for as long as they were obedient to Him and lawfully followed all His commands. God then went on to mention all those blessings that are in store for them.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 Blessings on Obedience

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:

“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you being the country. “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

“The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 

12 The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.


What wonderful promises God has given to His people, if only they would obey Him, keep His laws and commandments. But did the Israelites do as God told them to? No! In fact, they deliberately disobeyed God and repeatedly rebelled against Him. It became a cycle that lasted for many years.

How disappointing that despite everything God has done for them, despite the miracles God performed for them right before their very eyes, including parting the Red Sea so they could get away from Pharaoh and his armies and providing them manna and quail from heaven and water from the rock, they remained stiff-necked. Nevertheless, God remained faithful to them and kept His covenant with them.

Why then does God require obedience? Why do we have to heed God’s commandments when the Bible repeatedly affirms God’s faithfulness despite our disobedience and unfaithfulness?


Let us now look into some occasions or instances wherein God requires obedience, biblical characters who exemplified the true meaning of the word by their actions, and how God honored them as a result of their obedience to Him.

A. God may ask you to do something that does not make sense from a human perspective.

Joshua

God promised that He would bring His people out of Egypt into a land that is flowing with milk and honey. However, the land was occupied by the Canaanites and in order for the Israelites to take possession of the land, they would have to conquer it. Their first obstacle was the city of Jericho whose walls were securely shut up, no one went out and no one came in. So how are they going to get in and take possession of the land? God gives instructions to Joshua in Joshua 6:1-27.

Joshua and his army march around Jericho

Joshua was told to march around Jericho with his army once a day for 6 days and 7 times on the seventh day. Included in the march were 7 priests carrying 7 trumpets and the ark of the Lord. Joshua being the chief commander of the army obeyed God instead of relying on the military tactics he knew. From a human perspective, what God asked Joshua to do did not make sense at all but Joshua obeyed God, no questions asked. The end result: the walls of Jericho collapsed and they took the city.

Naaman

We read in 2 Kings 5:1-14 about Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Syria. He is described a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master because of the victory that was given to Syria by the Lord through him. But he had leprosy and lepers were considered unclean.

So Naaman was told by prophet Elisha through his messenger to wash himself 7 times in the Jordan in order for him to be healed. But Naaman got angry and refused to do obey. After some convincing from his servants, he then went down and dipped himself 7 times in Jordan as the man of God told him and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy (v.14).

Noah 

As recorded in Genesis 6:9-22, God asked Noah to build a massive boat and it definitely made him the laughingstock of his community. Building an ark did not really make sense at that time considering that it hasn’t been raining for years and years. You can just imagine the mockery that Noah received from the people. But Noah obeyed and took God at His word (Genesis 9:22)

And what was the end result of Noah’s obedience? He and his household were ready when the flood came. The Bible tells us that only Noah and his family were saved: his wife, his three sons and their wives. And the pairs of clean and unclean animal that Noah loaded in the ark.


*** Maybe you’ve been asking God for a pay raise in your current job. Or perhaps you’re praying for a part-time job to increase your cash flow because you want to give your family a more comfortable life. And you wish you could also help your Church ministry financially because you see that the finances are scarce.

But instead of giving you what you’re asking for, God seems to be prompting you to quit your job and go full time in your Church ministry. And you say, “What? Is that really you Lord?” So you start doubting if it’s really God speaking to you. You think it might be the devil playing with your head. Why would God ask you to give up the channel He’s using to bless you? How are you going to support your family? How are you supposed to send your kids to school?

This may not be making sense to you right now because you’re thinking of your family’s welfare. Your wife may not be supportive of your decision, she may even get really upset or disappointed. But know that God will always have your best interest at heart. You may not understand it now but in the end you will realize that this is how God wanted things to work out for you, He just need to know that you trust Him enough to obey Him.


*** Or maybe you’re in a situation wherein you are being abused by your employers. You wanted a higher paying job so you left home to work overseas so that you’d be able to support your family and give them a better future. But God puts you into a household of not-so-kind and considerate people.

Your salary is always delayed, you’re not having enough food supply, you are forced to work almost non-stop 24/7 and you’re only allowed to take 1 day off every month. So you cried out to God to rescue you. You keep asking your brothers and sisters in the Lord to pray for you; for God to take you out from your situation and to give you kind, generous and considerate employers.

However, God is not listening to your pleas, or so it seems to you. Your brethren also advised you to just stay put and be patient because maybe God has other plans for letting you into your employers’ lives. But why would God let you suffer despite your faithfulness and obedience to Him? It doesn’t make sense at all isn’t it?

Remember, God is sovereign and He knows what’s best for you. He has a plan and purpose in your life for getting you into the situation you are in right now. Learn to listen to God, obey Him and you’ll soon find out that He was going to use you as a blessing to your employers and as a result you will be greatly blessed for your obedience because blessings always follow obedience.


B. God may lead you to give up something or someone that’s very valuable to you.

Abraham

Abraham offering up his son Isaac is a classic example of giving up something you treasure dearly. We read in Genesis 22:1-18 how God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. We know by reading the account of Abraham and his wife Sara how they had waited for God to fulfill His promise to give them a son. How could God ask Abraham to offer to him the son He has promised?

But Abraham chose to obey God because he trusted God for His word. Abraham trusted God’s promise that his descendants will become as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17) and all nations on the earth will be blessed through him (Genesis 12:3). And God fulfilled His promise as a result of Abraham’s obedience.


*** Are you in a relationship with someone that God does not approve of because he/she is not a believer in Jesus? Perhaps you’re thinking that God will use you to bring your partner to faith in Jesus. You are so convinced that your partner will eventually become a Christian once you’re married. If your partner does not approve of your faith in Christ now that you’re still dating, don’t expect him/her to become a Christian just because you’re married.

If nothing seems to change after years of praying for your partner, then maybe that’s a sign of God’s disapproval. Maybe God is telling you to let go because he/she is not the one for you. It’s going to hurt of course, but God has the best in store for you. You just have to trust God, obey Him and focus on serving Him. 

*Related Article: When God tests your faith


C. God may want you to do something out of your comfort zone and face your fears.

Moses

Moses is described by the Bible as a Stutterer and yet God chose him to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Moses reasoned with God that he couldn’t do what God was asking him to do because he is not eloquent and is slow of speech and tongue (Exodus 4:10). Yet he chose to obey God and as to God’s instructions, Moses appeared before Pharaoh, the leader of a powerful civilization, many times to demand freedom for the Israelites.

Although the Egyptians had to experience God’s wrath through the 10 plagues that He had poured upon them for refusing to let the Israelites go to the desert to worship and to sacrifice to God, Pharaoh ultimately allowed them to go.

Peter and the apostles/disciples

The early Christian Church suffered a great deal of persecution under the Roman-ruled Jerusalem during New Testament times. The early followers of Christ led by His disciples were threatened with flogging and imprisonment for preaching about the risen Christ. And most of them died as martyrs for their faith but as a result of their boldness, the Church continued to grow and Christianity has spread throughout the Roman Empire and into Asia Minor, Greece, Europe, etc.


*** Is God telling you to share your faith to your non-Christian friends and colleagues but you fear that once you start talking about God, that they would start avoiding you? Perhaps you’ve worked really hard to fit in and get accepted by the group and you don’t want to throw all that away by sharing your faith to them.

Maybe you are aware that they don’t want to talk about “religious stuff” so you’d rather keep mum about the good news of salvation. You think that talking about the love of God and the sacrifice Jesus has done for us may put you in a really bad spot; that they might start ridiculing you or worst they might label you as bigot and judgmental.

Conclusion

Why does God require obedience? One thing we need to understand is that although God’s love is unconditional, all His promises aren’t. So yes, God requires obedience from us if we want to receive the rewards He has promised because every act of obedience comes with a blessing. But is that all? We only obey because we want blessings? No! We obey God to show Him that we love Him. Obedience is proof that we truly love God. Jesus said that if we love Him then we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).

So if you love God, you will keep His commandments. To say that we love God but refuse to obey Him is not really loving God at all. Because it’s easy to say, “I love you Lord” but our actions prove just quite the opposite.

Obedience to God’s commands is the true sign of our love for God.

13 Replies to “Blessing Through Obedience”

    1. You’re absolutely right Henry! And God’s blessings may not always be in the form we want and expect but they’re God’s blessings just the same.

      Thanks for visiting, shalom and God bless!

  1. You know there is no getting around this, in order to be bless by God we must follow and do as God tells us to do. The examples that you have given in your post shows that God requires and loves obedience. God wants us to trust Him and to know that he has our best interest at heart. Great blessing do come through obedience.

    1. Yes Norman, God does require obedience from His children and he finds pleasure in their obedience, like a father finds delight in the obedience of his kids. I always like to say that God’s love is unconditional but all His promises come with conditions. We read this over and over again in Scriptures. God is giving us a choice to obey for blessings and disobey for curse. Well, not literally curse as most people understand the word today. It means, we will not enjoy the fullness of God’s blessings if we do not faithfully obey His commands.

      There maybe times when God asks us to do irrational things but in the end we realize that they are really for our own good and benefits. As you said, we’ll just have to trust God in everything because the key to His blessings is obedience.

      Have a blessed day Norman!

  2. God bless you for sharing this article. God’s love for us is unconditional and he is faithful to those that keep his commandment. I am a christian and I love doing Gods’ work although I must say It is difficult to be obedient. It comes with challenges and it requires a lot of sacrifice but I am happier and I feel more at peace when I obey God. There is always a reward from God for our obedience. Obedience keeps the doors of God’s blessings wide open. This article has reminded me of my christian duties, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks

    1. Hello John,

      God’s love is indeed amazing because it’s unconditional; it’s not based on what we do nor on who we are and what we are. God loves us all unconditionally no matter how sinful we are and no matter how many times we fail Him.

      But we have to understand that although God’s love is unconditional, His promises of blessings always come with conditions. God gives us a choice between blessing and curse, life and death. If we want God’s blessings, we must strive to obey Him faithfully even if it means putting us in uncomfortable situations sometimes.

      Yes, obeying God does entail sacrifice on our part but we know after we have obeyed that the blessings will follow. I couldn’t agree more with what you said that, “obedience keeps the doors of God’s blessings wide open.”

      God bless you John!

  3. hi Alice. Nice to meet you, and I must say I love your website, I am a Christian my self or at least I try to be, it’s not all that easy all the time, When trying to follow God’s plan we tend to fall off the path with so many distraction in the world today one could only hope for the return of our king to be swift and forth coming, I really love what you are doing here and I hope to see more of the site pop up..

    1. Hi Denney, nice meeting you as well. 

      Obedience is one aspect of a Christian’s life that is not always easy because we tend to have many excuses, but mostly because it’s often difficult for us to give up the things that we have gotten used to before becoming followers of Christ. We feel like following Christ means we’re sacrificing a lot but in reality, it was Christ who sacrificed His own life to purchase our salvation. 

      Indeed, there are a lot of distractions in this world but we have to always keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He’s coming very soon and we don’t want Him to come and find us not ready for Him. 

  4. Thank you for this post. I’ve been struggling with some decisions lately. Being obedient has always been my goal, but sometimes I struggle with the follow through. This has definitely given me something to think about.

    It is difficult in the midst of trials to remember God’s faithfulness, but God has never let me down before. I believe if I am obedient to his direction and guidance, God will provide a way through the trials.

    Thank you for this reminder today.

    1. Hello Teresa.

      Often times in our Christian life we have to face the challenge of making difficult decisions. There are even times when no matter how much we desire to obey and submit to the will of God, we struggle and so we try to do things our way, only to realize later on that t’was a big mistake and that we should have trusted God without any question or hesitation. God loves us unconditionally and He always wants what’s best for us. We may not always understand His ways but we’re assured that He always has our best interest at heart. Obedience will always bring in the blessings. God is truly faithful because it’s His character and His character is unchanging.

  5. Great article! It always surprises me when I read through the Old Testament and see how often and easily the Israelites disobeyed God and turned to their own wicked ways. Then I am humbled because I think about my own life and how often I do the same thing.

    But, like you explain, when I do choose to obey God, I always feel blessed. Just the joy in obeying God is a blessing in my life. When I am selfish and turn my own way, I complain and dwell in self pity. But when I seek the Lord and choose to obey Him, I am blessed in more ways than I realize.

    You are so right in saying that God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we ask, but He does answer them in the best way. It’s up to us to continue to have faith and obey by following His lead or choose to complain and try to do things on our own.

    Obedience is a sign of our love for God. It is also a sign of taking our focus off of self.

    Thank you for this good word!

    Weston

    1. Hi Weston,

      Indeed God is faithful no matter how unfaithful we are. Many times in our walk with the Lord we falter, we fail to obey Him but God is so gracious. He continues to bless us with so much more than we deserve. We are so blessed because we have a relationship with our Lord Jesus who loves us so much that He gave His life to pay for the penalty of our sins. We may never be able to love Him back the same way He loves us but we can show Him how much we love Him through our obedience.

      We may not always understand His ways and His plans but we need to trust that God always has our best interest at heart. God bless you Weston and thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Just want to share this comment from a pastor/friend who’d rather not comment directly on this post. And I quote:

    “The content of the subject is really good but let me share a little bit background to add some color. The opening verse used was a covenant between God and the Jewish nation. The covenant or agreement actually started from Abraham and confirmed through Moses in the Book of Exodus up to Leviticus. Then reaffirmed in the Book of Deuteronomy since the first Jews that came from Egypt already died, including Moses. Except of course Joshua and Caleb. The obedience taught in the book of Pentateuch was indeed an order of obedience accompanied with blessing. The reason was that God knew beforehand that the Jews will not be able to comply with the Laws (life style) imposed on them. The promise of blessing was actually a further motivation for them to follow and obey God. But it’s a completely different case in the NT books or writings.”

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