Learning to Obey

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.’”Exodus 16:4

Sometimes children challenge their parents. When given an instruction, they ask, “Why?” If the child is capable of understanding, the parent may patiently explain. But sometimes the answer just has to be, “Because I said so.” Parents train their children to obey whether they understand why or not because that obedience can save their lives. If a child is headed for danger and the parent says, “Stop,” the child must stop to stay safe, not keep going until he understands, “Why.”

It’s the same with soldiers. They are trained to follow orders. This is why boot camp is notoriously difficult–all right, miserable. Physical exhaustion, discipline of action and thought, repetitive training, and emphasis on high standards are meant to train the soldiers to follow orders, so their missions will be accomplished and fewer lives will be lost.

Just as a parent who has taught a child to stop on command without question has saved that child’s life if the child wanders too near a quickly oncoming car and a commander who trains his soldiers to obey will likely bring more home from battle heat and in victory, God trains His children, soldiers in a spiritual battle, in order to keep them safe.

The rules for gathering manna didn’t make sense to the Israelites, yet God established those rules to test them, to see whether they would follow His instructions. Some did. Some didn’t. Those learned.

Likewise, we may not always understand God’s instructions. But He is God. We respect His authority and do things His way, knowing He’s averting disaster we may not be able to see. When the rules don’t make sense, we must remember who we are and Who God is. We are His beloved children. He is the Creator Father Who loves us dearly. We serve as soldiers in our Lord’s army. He is the Commander Whose orders we follow for the good of all.

Thank You, Lord, for training us, for testing us, for teaching us to obey. You are the Father we love, the Commander we respect. Help us serve You well, trusting whenever we don’t understand. For You are God; that’s all we need to know. Amen.


Janet Benlien Reeves

Reader, Writer, Runner, Flower Hunter, Child of God, Prince Charming's Wife, Mom Prone to Cheer

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