Week 2: Obedience leads to blessing
Grades 4 and up: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3
Review of last week’s lesson
Last week we spoke about the way of OBEDIENCE and the importance of listening and obeying God’s voice. When we disobey God, we commit SIN, and this is the way of REBELLION.
(1) The Way of Jesus: The Way of Obedience. It is when a person says in his/her heart, “I want to do what God wants me to do.” It is when we make a decision to know God’s will by reading His Word and then doing our best to follow it. We may not always get it right but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to understand what God wants and have the courage and strength to do it.
(2) The Way of Satan: The Way of Rebellion. It is when a person says in his/her heart, “I don’t care what God says, I will do what I want to do.” It is when we choose to listen to other voices (like from television, movies, wrong kinds of friends, or even one’s own selfish desires) instead of following what the Bible tells us to do.
BIBLE STORY: The Story of Ruth and Naomi (Read Ruth 3:1-5)
Naomi and Ruth were both widows. Naomi is Ruth’s mother-in-law. During their time, widows were considered really poor, because they had no more husbands to protect them and take care of them. When their husbands died while they were still in Moab, Naomi asked her two daughters-in-law to return to their families while she went back to Bethlehem alone. One of them said goodbye, but Ruth told Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.” So Ruth went with Naomi and took care of her elderly mother-in-law.
Ruth had been gathering leftover grain in the fields of one of Naomi’s relatives, Boaz. Now, Naomi thought it was good for Ruth to get married to Boaz, so that Ruth would have a good life and a better future. So she gave instructions for Ruth to prepare herself and at the right time, let Boaz know she was available for marriage by lying down near Boaz’s feet as he slept. This might sound a bit weird to us, but this was the proper way they did it during their time. Ruth obeyed her mother-in-law’s wise advice and did as she was told. True enough, Boaz acknowledged her and soon they were married.
Ruth was blessed because first of all, she chose to follow the one true God that Naomi believed in instead of going back to her old life and false gods in Moab. She honored her mother-in-law by going with her to take care of her instead of letting her fend for herself as an old widow. She also chose to obey Naomi’s advice which led to God’s blessing. She was “redeemed” from her poor life as a widow and became the wife of a good man named Boaz. Ruth was truly blessed because she bacame the mother of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the father of David. And we know David became Israel’s greatest king, from whose family came Jesus, the Messiah.
Obedience leads to blessing
God is our “supreme authority” – as our Creator, He has the right to rule us and be obeyed. One way God guides and leads us is through the different people he has placed as authorities over us. They are what we call as God’s delegated authorities. When we respect and obey them, we are obeying God. But when we choose to rebel against them, then we are rebelling against God.
God has placed our parents and guardians (ex. titos and titas or lolos and lolas who take care of us) as the authorities in the home. Ephesians 6:1 tells us, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” This is just a reminder to follow the fifth commandment (NOTE: review 10 commandments) to “honor your father and mother.” Our parents were given the responsibility of raising us, and part of what they do is ask God’s help in taking care of their children. God then gives them wisdom to teach what is right and wrong so that their children will grow up as good men and women of God. Our responsibility as children is to honor and respect our parents and obey them for this pleases the Lord.
Obedience to the commandment to honor our parents and obey them leads to a life of BLESSING which is “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”(Ephesians 6:3). If we think about it, a child that is trained up by his parents in the way of the Lord is truly blessed. For example:
a. As a young child: An obedient child is a joy to have around, unlike a spoiled brat who can be very annoying and sometimes even causes harm to other kids.
b. While in school: An obedient student gets along with classmates and enjoys learning in school, unlike bullies who get into trouble. Obedience to parents leads to respect and obedience to school authorities such as the principal, teachers and staff.
c. As adults: A person who grew up obedient to parents will also respect authorities in the workplace. Because of this, they are able to perform well and do good in their jobs, winning the favor of their superiors and peers. They also follow the rules and therefore avoid danger (ex. fights with other people, car crash due to disobedience to traffic rules and the like).
Obeying God’s Delegated Authorities
Indeed, obedience to our parents and guardians is just a start. God expects us to obey His other delegated authorities such as those in school (ex. teachers) and in the community (ex. government officials, police officers, etc.) Hebrews 13:17a tells us,“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.”
Our Father in heaven, thank you for reminding us today about honoring our parents by obeying them. Help us to be obedient to the authorities you have placed before us, that we may live a life of blessing and so that our lives will also bless others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.