Living by God’s Rules
By Alex Perkin, Soul Survivor:Called to Lead
As a kid I hit my brother and my parents defended and stood up for him. They said the dreaded line, “I’m not angry Alex, I’m just disappointed”, and I just wanted the ground to swallow me up! Like any good parent, I would be disciplined by them, protecting me from doing further harm to myself (or my brother!) so I’d know for the future. I had done something I shouldn’t and I was disciplined for it – that’s how God feels about his children. I ignored my parent’s rules and the Edomites ignored God’s rules to obey him, protecting them and the surrounding nations, and so as a good parent, God disciplined them so that they would learn for the future.
Obadiah was written after the fall of Jerusalem where the Edomites, who had been enemies of Judah in the South, rejoiced in Judah’s downfall taking advantage of their situation (v12). Obadiah is prophesying the defeat, consequences and disciplining of Edom in the first 14 verses, I will make you small among the nations v2 … you will be covered with shame v 10. But then in v15, “The day of the Lord is near for all nations” and a ray of hope as Obadiah begins to speak of the deliverance (rescue) in Jerusalem that will come.
In light of Obadiah, in our New Testament reading, we read that ‘We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away, v1.’ We are reminded that we are to obey God and live by his ways not make our own rules. However, when we don’t get it right, we’re rescued and saved through Jesus who was ‘crowned with glory and honour, suffering death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone, v9’. The creator came into his creation so that we don’t have to taste death but live with him for eternity by his grace.
Jesus takes it upon himself and ‘makes atonement for the sins of the people, v17’ which means that when we muck up, whether hitting our brother or whatever, and we turn to God recognising we’ve mucked up, he wipes the slate clean and washes our sin away.
We need to choose to turn back to God and live by his rules. Is there something that you need to come back to Jesus with because you’ve mucked it up like the Edomites?
Today’s picture was taken by…
Stefanie Sidler, at Newport Beach. Thanks Stefanie!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!