There are many times when we read the Bible and we understand the things that God commands us to do or at least we think so. Then there are the times when we read the Bible and we DON’T understand the things that God commands us to do.
In the latter case should we wait until we understand why God has commanded us in a specific way before we take action or should we act on the commands of God before we understand fully?
The answer is that OBEDIENCE should come before UNDERSTANDING.
We can see the necessity for this when we look at the parent-child relationship. A child lacks knowledge, wisdom, and judgment that experience may bring in the future. Because of this absence it is imperative that the child listen to and obey the parent who has the child’s best interest in mind.
If we believe that the Bible is the Word of God then we need to be able to step out in faith and DO as God has commanded. In the same way that a child needs to obey the parents BEFORE they UNDERSTAND, we need to obey the “mysteries” of God and His Word before we understand.
The “Father of the Faithful,” as Abraham is called, left behind a sterling example of obedience before understanding. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac after God had promised to perpetuate Abraham’s lineage through Isaac (Genesis 21:12). Did Abraham understand why God was asking him to do this? How could Abraham sacrifice his only son and still have descendants as the sand of the sea? How did this fit into God’s plans? Surely Abraham came up with a lot of good questions on his 3 day walk to Mt Moriah and no real good answers. But he knew without a doubt that God would still somehow keep His promise to him (compare Hebrews 11:17-19). Abraham was obedient to God even before he understood (Hebrews 11:8). He had learned the lesson through the course of his life that keeping the law of God was the most important thing he could and should do. This time was no different. Though he didn’t understand what God was doing he did it any way and in the end it worked out.
The ramifications of Abraham’s obedience can be seen in the immense blessings of his heirs even until today because God said, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).
When we are faced with whether to follow God’s way or man’s way … choose God’s … no matter what!