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Summary: God?s requirement of obedience is not something He does to us, but something He does for us. Though today?s world may see living without rules as a dream, it would only result in destruction.

Observations On Obedience

Text: Deut.6: 24

Intro: Obedience is not a topic dealt with too often these days. We hear a lot about options, but not much about obedience. The former term implies no set standard to follow, while the latter implies the existence of some absolutes.

The “no absolutes” philosophy has been around for a long time. It was essentially this thinking that became so popular among the hippies, during the sixties. It was often verbalized by the establishment dropouts of that rebellious era with the statement, “Do your own thing, man.” Those who advocated it often made that statement with a victorious and defiant tone. But the sad truth of the matter is that that philosophy was viciously destructive in its results upon the lives of those who practiced it. “Free love” (actually free sex), drugs, and defiance wreaked havoc in America during the latter half of the sixties. Much of the spiritual corruption and chaos present in our day are due to the fact that society still clings to the idea that it should be allowed to do whatever it pleases.

A few years ago some sincere and well-meaning people joined with actor, Tom Selleck, to start an organization to teach ethics in our public schools. Mr. Selleck believed that the problem among our youth was that they didn’t know the difference between right and wrong. In many respects he was quite right. And we have the philosophy of “No Absolutes” and over-tolerant parents largely to thank for it.

God knew what He was doing when He placed restrictions on man. As the words of our text said, God’s commands and statutes are “…for our good always” (Deut.6: 24). Sadly, it seems that mankind on the whole has never really believed that truth.

Disobedience to God isn’t merely a problem among the lost. Many Christians are just as guilty. It was for this reason that Moses reminded the nation of Israel of God’s commands. But included in Moses’ reminder are some valuable principles about obedience. I find both the reasons for, as well as the riches of obedience in the passage under consideration today. Notice them with me.

Theme: In making some observations on obedience, I have noticed the connection between:

I. OBEDIENCE AND GOD’S GRACIOUSNESS

Deut.6: 16 “Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

18a And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord…”

A. Obedience Produces Peace In A Person.

Deut.6: 18b “…that it may be well with thee…”

NOTE: [1] I certainly don’t want to imply that if one is right with God there will be no difficulties. That simply wouldn’t be true. Jesus assured us that there would always be problems and tribulations in this sin-cursed world. But the fact remains that the Christian who is right with God can experience a calm and contentment that transcends the tragedies and turmoil of life.

[2] The Bible tells us, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isa.57: 21). I realize that this verse makes reference to unbelievers. But the principle is equally applicable to believers. The child of God who harbors known sin in their heart cannot truthfully say that all is well in their heart. The Holy Spirit, whose job it is to convince and convict of sin (John 16: 8a), will keep putting His finger on what’s wrong until the believer acknowledges it. Should they continue to rebel, their conscience becomes seared, so that it no longer bothers them. At that point, I believe that saint is in danger of being taken home early.

[3] King David is a prime example of how the sinful believer experiences a loss of peace. When David refused to get right with God, things did not go well with him. Listen to his own words as he says:

Ps.32: 3 “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.”

[4] Disobedience and sin will destroy the Christian’s peace of mind and heart. Let me illustrate as follows:

The Whelk

You may never have heard of a whelk, but this little ocean creature can ruin an oyster’s day. The whelk has an appendage that works like an augur, with which it can bore a small hole in the top of an oyster’s shell. Through this very small hole a whelk can devour an entire oyster, sucking it out little by little until the oyster is gone.

Today in the Word, February 3, 1997, p. 8

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