by Buzz Dahlen
There is a great old hymn entitled “Trust and Obey,” that was written many years ago, by who I am not sure. Anyway, it is the kind of hymn written, I’m sure, to challenge us to a deeper faith in God. The title says it all, trust and obey, really, what more need God say. We are called to Trust and obey God. He is, after all, God and creator of all things. Shouldn’t we trust and obey Him? But many would say, to trust and obey is the hardest thing for a Christian to do. More often then not, it seems impossible. It takes faith to trust and obey. Oh but the benefits are worth it…
There are many great examples of people in the bible who stepped out in faith and decided to trust and obey. One of those examples is Noah: So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark--you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them." Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:13-22
Now you might say, “If God told me something like He told Noah, I would trust and obey, too.” That’s true, it does seem that God spoke directly to His people much more often then than He does these days. I suppose then, that you could say that it takes more faith today to trust God than it did back in the Old Testament times. Look at Hebrews 11; you most likely know the BIG NAME guys of the Old Testament, but there are others… And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Maybe it wasn’t all that much easier to trust and obey back them. Personally, I believe much more was asked of them than is asked of us today. We’ll talk more about this subject next time, but for now let me close with the chorus of this hymn: Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.