Obedience. Is it required for God's protection?
Last fall I was teaching the youth a study called "Back to Basics". Several of the adults mentioned how they would love to join as there was a over all feeling of missing basic understanding of biblical background.
We started at the beginning with the creation and have made it to Exodus where Moses leads the Israelite people out of bondage and back to their promised land. After striking the nation with 9 plagues, God has shown his power and wonders. He has also shown favor to the Hebrews living in Goshen where on several occasions the plagues very clearly did not involve God's chosen people. When Moses goes to Pharoah to warn of the final plague he announces with great authority "But among all the Israelites, not even a dog will snarl at man or beast.’ Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel."
Pharaoh has been warned that the following plague is for him and his people only.
The story continues with God's specific instructions to give to the people regarding the details of the first passover. Choosing a lamb, an unblemished perfect lamb. Caring for it for days and killing it at twilight. Taking the blood to mark the door post and lentel signifying to the destroyer (death spirit) that the children of Israel is within the confins of the house, protected my the blood of the lamb. Being ready to leave immediately as this final plague will be so devastating to the Egyptians they will force the departure.
I've known the elements of each portion and that it was the blood of the lamb, later to be represented by Jesus Christ that offered the Israelite people salvation. But what finally struck me was the passover REQUIRED their obedience. Required them to adhere to each element of instructions given by God for the desired outcome. The distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites was God's instructions. He provided clear step by step instructions, all which signify the future coming of the Messiah, for the salvation of the people. Had they not followed them would they have be subject to the plague as well?
That got me to thinking on how often we simply expect God to do for us without our required obedience. He has laid out for us specific instructions on how to live and so often these are ignored, yet we expect God to bend His ear towards us and save our backsides when we land ourselves in a mess, most likely because of our disobedience.
Thankful for the many times God has offered me grace and mercy when I've failed. I continue to receive these lessons in obedience. How much God values obedience, when bending our will and prefering His will.