DON’T REFUSE TO OBEY GOD

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

APRIL 02, 2024

TOPIC: DON’T REFUSE TO OBEY GOD

BY T. O. BANSO

The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord” (Psalm 106:23-24 New Living Translation).

The history of the Israelites is marked by the refusal to obey God. Despite God’s laws, commands, or instructions, communicated to them, they chose, many times, to do what was contrary. They disobeyed God, and this had serious consequences. It will for anyone who refuses to obey God.

Don’t refuse to obey God. The Lord said to the Prophet Samuel, I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command” (1 Samuel 15:11a New Living Translation). Note the phrase “refused to obey my command.” Be loyal to God; don’t refuse to obey Him.

Hearing about Saul’s disobedience and God’s rejection of him pained Samuel so much, particularly as he was the person God used to anoint him as king and he later delivered to him God’s command that he disobeyed. Therefore, he cried out to the Lord all night.

God sent Samuel to Saul to tell him about his rejection. Samuel told Saul, among other things, Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22 New King James Version). God rejected Saul and replaced him with David, a man after His heart.

Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience to God pays. Refusal to obey God will cost you so much. Isaiah 1:19-20 says if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be eaten by the sword. It is wise to willingly obey God; it is foolish to refuse to obey Him.

Don’t refuse to obey God. There will be consequences. Referring to the refusal of the Israelites to obey God, Moses said, At Kadesh-barnea, when the Lord told you to enter the land he had given you, you rebelled and wouldn’t believe that he would help you; you refused to obey him” (Deuteronomy 9:23 Living Bible). Consequently, God was angry and said, No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly” (Deuteronomy 1:35-36 New International Version).

Psalm 106:24-25 refers to this refusal of the Israelites to obey Him thus:The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord” (New Living Translation). Note the phrase “and refused to obey the Lord.” These disobedient Israelites suffered the consequences of their action.

Recalling the refusal of the Israelites to obey God on their journey to the Promised Land, Nehemiah said, They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage” (Nehemiah 9:17a New King James Version). Don’t refuse to obey God; don’t harden your heart.

Even when the Israelites possessed the Land of Canaan and began to dwell there, they continued to refuse to obey God, leading to God delivering them over to their enemies to oppress them. Later, many of their kings promoted idolatry, which provoked the anger of God against them.

In 1 Kings 18:18, the Prophet Elijah told King Ahab who called him the troubler of Israel that he wasn’t, adding, “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead” (New Living Translation). Ahab refused to obey God’s commands and Elijah declared that there would be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at his word (1 Kings 17:1). It was so. But Ahab was not the only Israelite king who refused to obey God.

Because of the refusal of the divided nation of Israel to obey God, manifesting especially in idol worship, the two kingdoms fell to the enemies, and many of the people were taken into captivity. 2 Kings 17:18-20 says, Because the Lord was very angry with Israel, he swept them away from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land. But even the people of Judah refused to obey the commands of the Lord their God, for they followed the evil practices that Israel had introduced. The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel. He punished them by handing them over to their attackers until he had banished Israel from his presence” (New Living Translation).

God said the land of Judah would be ruined and laid waste because the people refused to obey His instructions but followed their desires and engaged in idolatry. The Lord replies, ‘This has happened because my people have abandoned my instructions; they have refused to obey what I said. Instead, they have stubbornly followed their own desires and worshiped the images of Baal, as their ancestors taught them’” (Jeremiah 9:13-14 New Living Translation).    

Subsequent verses record the consequences of their refusal to obey God:So now, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Look! I will feed them with bitterness and give them poison to drink. I will scatter them around the world, in places they and their ancestors never heard of, and even there I will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely” (verses 15-16 New Living Translation). The book of Jeremiah records in other places the refusal of the people of Judah to obey God and the consequences (Jeremiah 11:6-8; 32:21-23).

Even after Judah had fallen and the people were carried into captivity, the people remaining in the land, who were determined to go to Egypt, refused to obey God to stay in the land despite Jeremiah declaring to them God’s command after they had asked him to enquire from Him.So Johanan and the other military leaders and all the people refused to obey the Lord’s command to stay in Judah. Johanan and the other leaders took with them all the people who had returned from the nearby countries to which they had fled” (Jeremiah 43:4-5 New Living Translation).

These disobedient people of Judah had no intention of obeying God when they asked Jeremiah to enquire from God for them. Verse 7 says, “The people refused to obey the voice of the Lord and went to Egypt, going as far as the city of Tahpanhes” (New Living Translation).

Learn from the history of the Israelites, and don’t refuse to obey God. They refused to obey God but copied the standards of the nations around them (Ezekiel 11:12). But they were worse than their neighbours. The Prophet Ezekiel said concerning Jerusalem, Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You people have behaved worse than your neighbors and have refused to obey my decrees and regulations. You have not even lived up to the standards of the nations around you” (Ezekiel 5:7 New Living Translation).

Don’t refuse to obey God. Be willing and obedient. The book of Hebrews compares Rahab with other people in the city of Jericho who refused to obey God. It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies” (Hebrews 11:31 New Living Translation). Don’t refuse to obey God because others refuse to. Separate yourself from them (2 Corinthians 6:17).

The refusal to obey God is proof of rejection of His authority. The Sovereign Lord says, ‘Israel, long ago you rejected my authority; you refused to obey me and worship me. On every high hill and under every green tree you worshiped fertility gods’” (Jeremiah 2:20 Good News Translation). Don’t reject God’s authority. He made you for His pleasure (Revelation 4:12). Don’t refuse to obey God. The Apostle Peter said, Obey God because you are his children; don’t slip back into your old ways—doing evil because you knew no better” (1 Peter 1:14 Living Bible).

Don’t refuse to obey God. The refusal to obey civil authorities in matters that the Word of God is not against amounts to disobeying God, for God established the authorities that exist. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow” (Romans 13:2 Living Bible). But don’t obey human beings and disobey God. Peter and the other apostles told the high priest and his associates that they must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

Don’t refuse to obey Him. There is a reward for your obedience, both on earth and in eternity. Job 36:11-12 says if the righteous obey and serve God, they will spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasure but those who disobey Him will perish by the sword, and die without knowledge. Obey God and be at peace with him; this is the way to happiness” (Job 22:21 New Century Version).

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my refusal to obey you in the past; please, forgive me. In the name of Jesus, I shall no more refuse to obey God. Holy Spirit, help me to obey God always.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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