The Benefits of Obedience

Psalm 119:100 – “I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.”

This past Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with several close friends and family. Among the close friends was my friend Jamal. Jamal grew up in Somalia. He is Somali/American and runs a Somali restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. Jamal is a huge checker player. He loves that game. If you ever visit his restaurant, Safari, in the Midtown Global Market, you’ll find that Jamal has a checker board ready to take on all comers. He hadn’t lost for seven years, before Thursday. Then my Dad entered Jamal’s life. My Dad hadn’t lost a game of checkers in eleven years. (He also hadn’t played in eleven years.) My Dad and Jamal traded victories all afternoon long. They had so much fun that we had to go to the Global Market on Friday for more checkers. Dad and Jamal split four games, each winning two games. As they talked I found out that the elders in Jamal’s village would play checkers all day long. The elders were the respected men of the village. They were considered the leaders in that community.

When David talks about the elders in Psalm 119:100 (I’m so excited that we’ve made it to day #100!) he is talking about the same type of men that Jamal spoke of. These were people who were respected in Israelii society. They were considered to be the “answer men.” If you needed advice, you were to go to the elders. David’s words in Psalm 119:100 may seem boastful at first glance. But, they are anything but boastful. David was merely stating the truth. Obedience to God’s commands leads to great understanding. Just as in yesterday’s verse, David spoke about the fact that meditating upon God’s statutes gave him more insight that his teachers, (education is something that should bring you insight) today’s verse reminds us that obeying God’s commands yields understanding.

So, how are you doing when it comes to obedience? When I talk to teenagers about obeying their parents, I hear audible groans. They don’t like the word obedience. But, it’s what God calls us to! We need to obey Him. One of the benefits is understanding! May you be a person of great understanding!

Dear God,

Thank You for Your radical call on our life to holiness. We want to be a holy generation. We want to be people that You can depend on. We want to reflect Your glory to this world. We want to be people who understand our times because we are obedient to You. Help us to be these people.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

The Lens of Scripture

Psalm 119:99 – “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.”

I hope that you’ve had a chance to go beyond just reading these blog entries and that you have had the chance to meditate upon the Scriptures on which they are based. Today’s Bible verse talks about the value of meditation. In David’s life, biblical meditation yielded great insight. He knew how to face life’s circumstances head on because of the insight that he had gained from the study of God’s Word.

Year’s ago I heard a pastor say that he read the newspaper with one hand and the Bible with the other. In other word’s he looked at life’s circumstances with a biblical world view. Do you think that really works? I do. I believe that when we look at the headlines of the day through the lens of Scripture we have more insight than those who do not. When we read about atrocities in other countries, the Christian should be motivated to act, becaue Jesus has compassion for those who have no voice. When we read about injustice we should be motivated to act, because Jesus cares about justice. When we elect our leaders that decision should be made through the lens of Scripture. Are the people that we are voting for people who display the biblical characteristics of leaders? Are the lawmakers that we are electing people who care about God’s laws?

As you walk through life, may you see things through the lens of Scripture. Let God be your guide as you navigate life’s journey.

Dear God,

You offer insight to those who seek You. Thank You for Your perfect will. Help us to seek to understand Your will and honor You with the choices that we make. You are great and Your knowlege is a gift. We love You and seek to glorify You with our lives.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.