But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?' They said to Him, 'The first.'
Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, 'Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the Commandment of the Lord.' But Samuel said, 'What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?'
Mankind's deceiver knows the importance of obeying God, as well as the punishments to be suffered by those who don't. Since he launched a failed mutiny and got exiled from Heaven, his driving desire is for us to receive the same sentence.
Therefore, in his mastery of deceit, he offers us tricks: gimmicks of faking compliance while making rebellion. Consider some kiddy cons that grow up into monster moves, if left unchecked and uncorrected by overworked parents.
obedience is clearly disobedience, seen in the outwardly polite, but inwardly lying son.*
obedience is also disobedience, seen when King Saul only partially completed God's Order.**
obedience is re-labeled disobedience, seen in The Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servant.***
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Have you ever faked obedience? Or did one part but not another? Or delayed for as long as you could? Shouldn't we all judge ourselves guilty?
Parents, have you surrendered all hope for sincere and quick obedience? At times, I've caved to my grandchildren. Their wills and skills to weasel around overwhelmed my parental resolve.
Thank God Jesus intercedes for us. If we confess our sins, He forgives us. If we confess inadequacies and request His unbeatable help, He will empower our parenting. Nevertheless, we must walk as saints and practice godly obedience, both to give and receive correction.
To Be Continued...
* The Parable of the Two Sons: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2021:28-32
** 1 Samuel 15: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+samuel+15&version=NKJV
*** The Parable of the Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A45-51&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Parent Traps series.