Trust and Obey
In my current reading, I have been going through the books of Kings. Two phrases consistently grab my attention, and they are along the lines of these statements;
He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit. (1 Kings 15:25-26)
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. (2 Kings 18:3)
The author is clearly trying to communicate the obvious cause and effect of each king’s obedience or disobedience to the Lord and the implications of each. In these two books, there are 32 kings in both the northern and southern kingdoms and only eight (25%) of them actually chose obedience in their reign over God’s children. The ones that chose not to follow the Lord reintroduced the worship of Baal, put idols in the temple of the Lord, and even sacrificed their own children to false gods. The results of this period of Israel’s history are tragic. The kings who did evil in the eyes of the Lord brought about the split of Israel into the two kingdoms of north and south, witnessed the temple's destruction, and eventually were exiled to Babylon.
In exile, the Israelites must have asked themselves questions - has God abandoned them, has God forgotten the promises He made to their forefathers, and ultimately, where is God now? Have you ever asked yourself questions like these?
I believe that we can see ourselves in these men who followed their own desires and the results of those choices. For many of us, the poor decisions they made seem obvious as we look at the Israelites, but as I reflect on my own life, it doesn’t take long for me to see how I elevate other man-made gods above the one and only God. The ways I question what God is doing in my life and fail to trust in Him completely. We must be able to see that trusting in His ways requires complete obedience.
This morning, the lyrics of a well-known hymn came to my mind: Trust and Obey.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey
This theme in the books of Kings may resonate with me right now because, at E4, we find ourselves in a season of change. Change can be challenging, but it can also produce new and unexpected results. We have seen a lot of change at E4 over the last year, but we are moving forward with hearts willing to trust and obey. We want to prioritize our obedience and see how God works. This requires patience and a willingness to seek Him daily for His leading.