Historical Obedience

Exodus 12:1-28

The instruction Moses gave was to be passed along from generation to generation. After he finished with these specific instructions, Scripture says, “And the people bowed low and worshiped. Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did” (vv. 27–28).

We’re back again to the key word: obedience. Pharaoh did not—would not—obey. As a result, he exposed both himself and his nation to the judgment of the Lord. The Hebrews, however, heard the Lord’s Word through Moses and did obey, right down to the smallest detail. As a result, they experienced a great deliverance. They made history, while Pharaoh became history.

I would like to apply some of these thoughts before we press on. My personal conviction is that our greatest struggle is not in the realm of understanding the will of God; it’s in the realm of obeying the God whose will it is. To be painfully honest, when you and I look back over our lives, we do not find ourselves puzzled and mystified about God’s will nearly as much as we find ourselves stubborn and resistant to the One who was directing our steps. Our problem wasn’t that we didn’t know; our problem was that we knew but weren’t willing to follow through.

That’s the basic struggle of the Christian life. The clear truth of God is set before us time and time again. It’s available to us, we read it, we hear it explained from a pulpit, in a Christian book, or on a Christian radio program, and we sense the Holy Spirit whispering, Yes, this means you. We understand Him clearly . . . but we resist. When the chips are down, our tendency is to say, “I’ve got it planned another way.” Looking back, we wonder, “Why didn’t I obey?” Or, “Why didn’t I follow God’s call?”

At some juncture in our lives—maybe at several junctures—we need to ask ourselves those questions. You may say, “Well, Chuck, he’s not calling everyone to that task.” I know that. But that’s not the issue here. We’re not talking about everyone. The question is, how do you know He isn’t calling you?

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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