Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, my!

I am reading through I Kings this morning and I come across this passage:

I Kings 13: 23-25 - 23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 25 Some people who passed by saw the body thrown down there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.

As I read this passage, a line from a song in the Wizard of Oz came to mind -  "Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, My!" Dorothy is about to enter the forest and she is scarred. She asks the Tin Man and the Scarecrow if they think they will see any wild animals.

DOROTHY Do -- do you suppose we'll meet any wild animals? 
TIN MAN We might. 
SCARECROW Animals that -- that eat straw? 
TIN MAN Some -- but mostly lions, and tigers, and bears.

They then dive into a song about lions, tigers and bears...oh my!

OK, enough about the Wizard of Oz. The point I want to make is that disobedience leads to destruction. It does not always lead to the destruction of a life by a lion but it does lead to destruction. Disobedience by Adam and Eve lead to the destruction of perfect fellowship with God. Disobedience by Pharaoh when God told him, through Moses, to let the Israelites go lead to the destruction of his livestock, his crops, and eventually his firstborn son. There are numerous stories of kings who disobeyed God and many, many lives were destroyed.

I think I Samuel 15:22 sums up the whole idea of obedience. This passage comes on the heals of Saul's disobedience after battling the Amalekites.

I Samuel 15: 22 - 22 But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

God wants our obedience. So many times I try to cover up my disobedience with giving more money, or giving more time, or serving more. But that is not what God wants, he wants our obedience. Now if he is asking you to give more then sure, he wants your money, time or service. But if he has asked you to spend one night a week at the homeless shelter and you decide to throw an extra $20 in the offering plate instead of obeying I think he has a problem with that.

Christ reemphasized this thought on obedience in the New Testament. 

John 14: 15, 21 -  15"If you love me, you will obey what I command...21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

I do not think that our disobedience will lead to our being torn to shreds by a lion but I feel sure that it will lead to our fellowship and communion with God being destroyed until we make it right again through repentance and confession. When God speaks to us though his word or though the stillness of our heart be sure to obey, it is so much better than the alternative.

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