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.

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