THE REWARD OF OBEDIENCE
“And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee…” Genesis 22:16, 17a
The faith of Abraham is the attribute that he is best known for. By faith, he left his home in Mesopotamia to settle in the Land of Promise. By faith, he and Sarah were blessed with a son when he was one hundred years of age. Then, God commanded Abraham to take his miracle son, Isaac, and offer him for a burnt offering. This is one of the great acts of obedience in the Bible and pictures the sacrifice of God sending His Son to die for our sins. Abraham promptly obeyed, and just prior to his carrying out the order, an angel stopped him and Abraham was directed to offer a ram instead. In referring to Abraham’s obedience, we have a part of God’s response in our text. God said, “because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee.”
There is great reward to those who obey. We will never know the full blessing of God in our lives if we are not willing to obey Him. God’s commands for us are for our good and for His glory. It is always best to obey. Some things are easier to obey than others. Undoubtedly you can think now of many areas in your life where you have been walking in obedience to God. Thank God for that. Whether we recognize it or not, God will certainly bless the obedience of His children. For instance, He said of those who obey Him in tithing, “prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
God wants to bless His children, but He will not bless disobedience. Some things are much harder to obey than others. Perhaps, as you read this, you are thinking of such an area where you struggle to obey. It will require much more faith and sacrifice than most other things. Such was the case with Isaac. God was asking Abraham to give what was most precious to him. This is one of the lessons we should remember from this story. The more difficult the act of obedience, the more sure we can be of God’s blessing and reward. Of course, we do not obey just to get a blessing. We obey because we love God and want to please Him, but rewards will come.