I’ve been reading through the Bible chronologically this year and it has been an amazing journey thus far. This week I passed out of the Old Testament and am now reading the New Testament.
There’s a couple of lingering thoughts left over from my OT readings that I would like to share with you. Unfortunately, both thoughts have to do with obedience. Groooooaaaaannn.
It’s okay, maybe you’ve got God-obedience down. Good for you. I do not in the least. Too often I am stomping my foot, sticking out my lower lip and pouting when God asks something of me. And yes, this response to God has been brought to my attention lately via my job in working with kids.
The first example of Good Old-Fashioned Old Testament Obedience (GOF OTO) is found in Isaiah. If you want to talk about obedience, the prophets get down to some serious obedience business before God. At the beginning of Isaiah 20, God tells Isaiah to walk naked and barefoot for three years as a sign to Egypt and Cush.
Did you catch that, really? Go walk naked and barefoot for three years!!! Now that’s obedience.
The second example comes from Ezra, a priest. His timeline is this: the Israelites have been in captivity. The king of Persia has given permission for the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and re-build the temple of God. This alone is an amazing feat. They build the temple with many delays and attempts at sabotage and then Ezra gathers all the priests and the people to dedicate it and celebrate Passover. Ezra then teaches the people about the laws of God.
In Ezra 9, he prays about intermarriage between the Israelites and others of a non-Jewish descent. The answer to his prayer is for all who intermarried to make a covenant with God “…to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of the LORD…” (10:3, ESV)
I don’t know about you, but that seems like a tall order to me. I see myself whining and complaining and refusing that one. It’s my family, after all.
I write this to say, I have a long way to go regarding GOF OTO. And you?