From 40 Daily Thoughts Vol.1
Scripture Reading 1 Kings 13
“For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came. So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel” (1 Kings 13:9-10)
As Christian soldiers, we are under constant command by the Word of God. Our Commander in Chief-Jesus the Christ- has given us specific orders to live our lives by. And it is for a good reason. Thus was the case with the prophet from Judah in the 13th Chapter of 1st Kings. The Lord had given the young prophet precise orders not to eat or drink in Bethel and then he left to go home via a different route. As the story goes, he refused King Jeroboam at first. He even repeated the command to the old prophet from Bethel, who ended up lying to the young prophet. Some interesting points! First, a man of God lied to him to get him to stay and eat and drink, thus defying God. Why did he believe the lie? Why not just do what God had commanded? But folks will come to you and tell you what God told them about you! If God is going to give YOU a specific command, then I believe He is going to tell YOU if he changes His mind or has another set of orders! Thus are our struggles as Christian Soldiers. We are under so many commands from so many “chiefs” when we should be listening to only one. The moral of the story is that this young prophet lost his life (being attacked and killed by a lion) because he stepped out from his orders. On this day, are you as a Christian Soldier under specific commands to carry out a work for the Lord? Are you following orders? As a former soldier in the Army, I was trained to follow orders without question because somebody’s life could be on the line; to include my own!
Consider these examples:
Adam and Eve were under the command of God’s Word.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16).
There are two ways to mess this interpretation up. It is pretty straight forward. They were told what to do and what not to do. They were told the consequences should their behavior contradicted that which they were commanded to obey. We know how that story ended. When Adam and Eve stepped out from under their command orders not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil we know how that turned out for them and mankind!
Moses was under Command of God’s Word
God was equally explicit and crystal clear with Moses in the Wilderness of Zin at Kadesh. “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals” (Num. 20:7-8).
Again, it is hard for me to see how Moses could get this wrong. We know that Moses did not heed the voice of the Lord; he decided (on his own in anger) to strike the rock twice instead. And it cost him an opportunity to enter into the Promise Land.
Likewise, the Lord gave King Saul specific instructions to carry out an order.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel…now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Sam. 15:2-3). Of course this is a difficult passage of scripture to accept. Why would a loving and holy God call for the extermination of an entire race of people? We don’t know why, but we trust God because “His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.” Plus, God is all knowing and He knew that these same Amalekites, these people of color from the descendants of ….would be a thorn in the side of Israel. Saul lied and said he had killed everyone, but he kept alive the Amalekite King Agag (1 Samuel 15:20).
As result, a couple decades later these same Amalekites took David and his men’s families captive (1 Samuel 30:1-2). Several years later, a descendant of Agag, Haman, tried to have the entire Jewish nation exterminated. So, Saul’s incomplete obedience almost resulted in Israel’s destruction.
Lord, grant us the wisdom to realize that we are under your command. Help us to adhere to the commands of grace in the Bible. The command to love, the command to repent and the command to spread your gospel throughout the world. It is in the name of Jesus I submit this prayer and by His precious blood I claim victory, Amen.
After reading about the need to be under the command of God in the Bible, how does that alter your thought life as a Christian Soldier? There are possible consequences for violating the commands God has given you. What will it cost you to disobey God? It is really quite simple…follow the commands of the Lord! Stop listening to people’s lies and version of the truth. Listen to God and God only.