These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. Click here for last week’s lesson.
This week, we started a new study. We will be reading through the entire Bible in 2014 using “Back to the Bible’s” chronological reading plan (reading Biblical events in the order in which they actually happened). Each Sunday’s lesson will cover a story(s)/event(s) contained in the previous week’s (Sun. – Sat.) reading.
Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 1 ~ Jan. 1-4
Genesis 1-11, Job 1-5
Obedience: Adam, Eve, Cain, and Babel vs. Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Job
What is obedience? (Deuteronomy 15:5) Obedience is simply doing what God commands. Bringing our lives/behavior/hearts in line with what God tells us to do.
Why are we to obey God? (John 14:15, 21, 23-24, 1 John 5:3) We do NOT obey God’s commands in order to get to Heaven or to balance out our sin. Our obedience shows that we are already saved because it springs from the love and gratitude in our hearts to Christ for saving us from our sin.
What can we learn about disobedience from…
Adam & Eve:
Flee from, don’t flirt with, temptation. (Genesis 3:1-5) Eve didn’t flee temptation, she stood around, had a conversation with it, and let it convince her.
Your disobedience doesn’t just affect you. (Genesis 3:6-24) Eve’s sin caused Adam to sin, which caused the whole world to sin for every successive generation. Your sin can have far reaching effects.
Sin snowballs. (Genesis 4:1-16) First Cain disobeyed God’s parameters (not stated in Genesis) for offerings. The root sin of this was rejection of God’s authority. God didn’t have the right to tell Cain what to do, he’d do it his own way.
This led to anger (not grief, shame, or repentance at his disobedience—anger) at God for rejecting his offering. His anger was rooted in the sin of mischaracterizing God as unfair or wrong. Anger led to murder, then murder led to lying to God to cover it up.
God graciously warns us about disobedience. (Genesis 4:7) He’s such a good God, that just as He warned Cain of the consequences of disobedience, and that he needed to avoid temptation, God gives us a Bible full of examples of the dire consequences of disobedience, culminating in the death of Christ to pay the penalty for sin.
We must obey God even if it’s hard, we don’t want to, or it doesn’t make sense to us. (Genesis 9:1,7; 11:1-9) After the flood, God told Noah’s family to spread out and fill the earth. 11:4- They wanted the exact opposite. They were supposed to bring glory to God’s name, but they wanted glory for themselves.
God is sovereign and will have His way despite our disobedience. (Genesis 11:8-9) Nothing, including our disobedience takes God by surprise or thwarts His plans.
What can we learn about obedience from…
Obedience isn’t always a grand gesture. Obedience in the “small” things is just as important to God. (Genesis 4:1-16) If it weren’t for Cain’s disobedience, we probably wouldn’t know about Abel’s obedience. How many times that weren’t recorded had he obediently offered a sacrifice? Abel’s obedience is the true hero of this story, yet he’s little more than a bit player. He simply and quietly obeys God, and God “has regard” for his offering.
Faith in Christ and love for Him are what motivate obedience that is pleasing to God. (Hebrews 11:4) Not fear of punishment, not grudging legalism.
Obedience is to be a day by day, continual practice. (Genesis 5:22-24) “I’ll obey when I feel like it, when it’s convenient, etc.,” is totally foreign to God’s definition of obedience. In some stories we see special “big” acts of obedience, but in Enoch’s life we see a steady, daily walk with God. That is the type of story most Christians will live out.
God rewards obedience. (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5) Possibly materially, definitely spiritually.
God requires our obedience even if everyone around us disobeys. (Genesis 6:5-8) Noah (and his family) was the only one on EARTH obeying God. Had he chosen a life of rebellion like the others, he would have died like the others.
The world will often respond negatively to our obedience. (Genesis 6:5, John 15:18) “…every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” That’s not a heart that loves and embraces the things of God. John 15:18: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me [Jesus] before it hated you.” Just as the world hates God, so, when we display His truths in our lives, they will also hate us.
Obedience and faithfulness does not guarantee health, wealth, or smooth sailing. (Job 1:8-19) Job was the most blameless and upright guy on earth, according to God, and for God’s own purposes, not to punish Job for disobedience, He took away all the good things in his life.
We obey God even in the most difficult circumstances (Job 1:20-22) Even in times of extreme difficulty, we worship, we obey, we don’t charge God with wrong. Because God doesn’t owe us material goodies or positive circumstances as payment we earn with our obedience, neither can we “quit our job” of being obedient when tough times come. God may be trying to bless us with something even more valuable: knowing Him more closely, feeling His comfort, maturing, leading someone to Christ, taking us home to Heaven, etc.
We are only servants, called to obey a kind and loving Master (Luke 17:7-10; Matthew 25:23)