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OBEDIENT HEARTS ARE BLESSED (1)

Date: 
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Isaiah 1: 10-20

“If you are WILLING and OBEDIENT, you shall eat the good of the land” – Isaiah 1:19

OBEDIENT HEARTS are BLESSED to enjoy Goodness in Life: ““If you are WILLING and OBEDIENT, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword...” (Isa.1:19-20a). Willingness is born in the heart; so is Obedience. It is one thing to be obedient; it’s another to be willing. The truly obedient heart is first of all willing! For example, if we send children errands and they go grudgingly, we will not be favourably disposed to them. Many have lost out of their blessings not because they did not obey but because they were not willing. The alternative to willingness and obedience is to refuse, rebel, and be devoured by the sword!

A classic example of the obedient enjoying divine goodness is Isaac, who decided to leave his place of abode because of severe famine, but against his decision and seemingly right reasoning, God instructed him to stay put in Gerar, and he did. The result: “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him” (Gen.26:12-14). Isaac was led; he was willingly obedient, and abundantly enjoyed the good of Gerar!

Isaiah’s prophecy indicted God’s people of corruption, iniquity, and rebellion (vv.1-9). God hated their vain religious ceremonies (vv.10-15). But He offered them an invitation and a cure: Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (vv.16-18). The VOICE reads: “Come on now, let’s walk and talk; let’s work this out. Your wrongdoings are bloodred, but they can turn as white as snow. Your sins are red like crimson, but they can be made clean again like new wool” (v.18).

The Living Bible says: “If you will only let me help you, if you will only obey, then I will make you rich! But if you keep on turning your backs and refusing to listen to me, you will be killed by your enemies; I, the Lord, have spoken” (v.19). The Message Bible says: “If you’ll willingly obey, you’ll feast like kings. But if you’re willful and stubborn, you’ll die like dogs” (v.19). Obedience is a CHOICE – Feast with Kings or die like dogs! God was saying, “If you choose to be willing and obedient, changing your ways and following My directives, then you will be blessed and able to eat good things from the land. BUT if you refuse to listen, if you choose to turn your back on Me, then I will allow your enemies to come into your land and destroy you.” God gave the people two choices that each came with an extremely specific outcome.

There is a stark difference between the two choices and their outcomes: No middle of the road; it is either do this and be blessed or do this and be destroyed! William Law wrote: “Nothing harms or destroys us but the wrong use of that liberty of choice which God has entrusted to us.” Choices always have consequences, whether good or bad. We do not get to choose what the consequences will be, but we do have choices and must carefully consider them and likely outcome before making one. Moses reminded the people they had two choices: I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deut.30:19). One choice led to life, the other to death. He encouraged them to choose life. “

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, let our OBEDIENT HEARTS be BLESSED to choose life and not death, and to eat and enjoy the good of the land, in Jesus name.
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