And the Lord said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. (Jeremiah 11:6-7)

A study of the Old Testament reveals God reaching out into human history to connect to the people. “I will be your God and you will be my people” sums up the message of the covenant established with the ancestors. God set forth commandments as the conditions of the covenant and asks for obedience to the covenant. Yet, time and time again, the Israelites rebelled and broke the covenant. Still God continues to reach for the covenant relationship. Once again, the prophet Jeremiah calls the Israelites back into accountability.

We have trouble with the idea of obedience. Throughout human development, we tend to push against authority, whether it’s the newly speaking toddler with an emphatic “No” or the teenager who mutters, “You’re not the boss of me.” Obedience seems to be contrary to developing independence and autonomy.  It makes us feel as if someone has power or control over us.

However, as we mature we learn that obedience is often to our benefit understanding that rules are set to protect us not restrict us. Just as a child learns that the loving parent has the child’s best interest at heart, we can accept the command for obedience from a loving God. In the context of a trusting relationship, obedience is natural.

When we find ourselves struggling with obedience to God’s voice, the question becomes, are we really trusting God?

Loving God, free us for joyful obedience. Free us from doubt of your love for us. Free us from doubt of ourselves as your children. Remind us that we share a loving covenant relationship. Amen.

Sandra DeSobe - Loves Disciple Bible study

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