Wednesday: Obedience

Abel obediently knelt at his altar, holding the lamb offering as God commanded. Cain, on the other hand, furiously knelt at his altar holding the fruit. Both brought offerings, yet only one brother had been obedient to God’s command. Abraham and IsaacThe slain lamb was accepted, but the produce from the ground was rejected. Both brothers understood the meaning and instructions regarding the offering of sacrifices, but only one obeyed what the Lord had commanded (Gen. 4:1-5).

“The death of Abel was in consequence of Cain’s refusing to accept God’s plan in the school of obedience, to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, typified by the sacrificial offerings pointing to Christ. Cain refused the shedding of blood, which symbolized the blood of Christ to be shed for the world.” – Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1109.

Obedience starts in the mind. It involves the delicate process of mentally accepting the responsibility of carrying out commands from a higher authority. Obedience stems from a relationship with an authority figure and the willingness to obey that figure. In the case of our relationship to God, our obedience is a voluntary, loving action that molds our behavior to moral obligations. Obedience to God must be as specific as He directs, and not only as we think or desire it should be. The case of Cain is a perfect example of someone doing his own thing instead of doing what God asks.

Read 1 John 5:2-3 and Romans 1:5Romans 10:16-17. What do these texts teach us about what obedience means to the Christian, who is saved by faith without the deeds of the law?

We don’t obey to be saved; we obey because we already are saved. Obedience is the practical statement of a moral faith. Samuel told Saul, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22, NKJV).

What did Samuel mean by “to obey is better than sacrifice”? What should that tell us as Christians that could help us not fall into the false gospel of cheap grace?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons