As parents of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, this phrase comes out of my mouth really, really, really often: “Listen the first time.” Annaliese isn’t quite there on the understanding scale, but for the most part, my tone often gets the point across. Cade, on the other hand, gets it, though he may not follow through with the appropriate response. What am I trying to instill in my children when I say that phrase? Obedience and trust.
I want them to trust their father & mother’s hearts. I want them to understand that obedience is a big deal to us, and that we have what is best for them in mind when we lay down the law. I want them to know that both obedience and discipline are rooted in love. And I absolutely want to instill in them that, in this world, for better or worse, there are consequences for their actions.
Today’s reading in Judges 2 shows us discipline, and the consequences for disobedience. The Israelites didn’t follow God’s commands, and now they had to deal with the ramifications. Those whom they did not drive out of the land would now be a thorn in their side. It was no laughing matter, not by any means. In fact, we can still see the consequences for their decisions in what is continuing to happen in the middle east centuries upon centuries later.
How different would this have been if they trusted the heart of their Heavenly Father? What would the rest of Judges look like had they understood the importance of obedience and trust? And yet, God still had a plan for His people. His Son, Jesus Christ, would show perfect obedience. He would model trust beyond measure. He would bear all of our eternal consequences of judgment and discipline on the cross and in His death. He would lead us back to the Father’s heart.
Are you trusting the Lord today? Is there something He’s asked of you that you are not following through on? Is there something He’s told you to let go of that is still in your grips? What I challenge my children to is what I challenge you to: walk in obedience today! Trust the heart of Jesus and respond in faith.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor