by Tom Moll
The reality of God’s unfailing love for Israel is seen in the cycle repeated over and over in Judges. The Israelites fall into sin and cry to God for help. He answers their cries and raises up a leader to deliver them. Then they once again let the culture around them drag them away from the God who delivered them in the first place.
In Judges 13 we encounter Samson, one of the most familiar judges. The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and gave her extremely specific instructions about the child she was to conceive, a child that would be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth.
Remarkably, the text does not record an objection or a question raised by the woman! Rather she apparently is completely obedient to the instructions given to her.
What a blessed and happy people we would be if only we were able to see the benefits of obedience. I wish I knew why obedience has become so objectionable to people. It is almost as if the thought of obedience implies weakness and is to be resisted.
Some preachers today seem to hesitate to ask followers of Christ to obey his Word. But in the life of Manoah and his wife, it was complete obedience that brought fulfillment to the promise.
Benefits of Obedience
What a blessed and happy people we would be if we could see the benefits of obeying God’s Word. We will be more likely to stay in the flow of God’s blessing if we obey his instructions.
We won’t have to worry about asking for forgiveness because we happily trust that the Lord knows what is best for us. We will not be guilty of walking by sight rather than by faith. We will never have to worry about being found out when we are disobedient because we will choose to obey.
Much of my ministry is helping people pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Many of these people knew what the Lord expected of them but flat out disobeyed. What misery comes into our lives when we choose to disobey; what joy comes from simple obedience.
Tom Moll is senior minister at Christ’s Church at Mason (Ohio), where his wife Kay is director of Women’s and Missions Ministries.