The First Obedience (Just A Minute #131)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. . . .
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. (Gen 1:3 & Mat 9:9)

The first to obey God's voice in the Bible was light . . . or was it nothing?! The actual facts are that God spoke to nothing and told light to exist. Nothing responded, so to speak, and there was light.

Sure, that sounds sort of odd, but by focusing on the creation this way, we are reminded of a very important Biblical truth. God is the One who both speaks and empowers. He is the ultimate reason for every good thing that is ever created or happens. When the Lord spoke to the deaf and dumb void, reality sprung into being.

The process continued after light was created, when the firmament and water appeared, and then dry land showed itself. Next the Lord spoke and all herbs and trees snapped into sight. Then again came the creating Word, and the sun, moon, and stars turned on.

Next in line to respond in obedience to the Maker’s voice were the birds and sea animals, followed by every other living creature on earth. Finally, the culminating moment arrived, though in a curious twist of the pattern, Jehovah did not speak to nothing this time. He picked up some already made dust, personally formed it into a man, and made woman from him.

The entire sequence of creation came about in a chain of perfect obedience to the Words of God.

And how could it be otherwise?

All of this was beautiful and glorious and right. The Creator and His creation communicated in perfect harmony. His speech produced instant fruit.

Part of the mystery and marvel of it all was in the amazing Word that came from God. The sound was directed towards the powerless blank space, which by itself could do nothing. But with the Word came the very power needed for obedience. Ultimately it was all from God!

This perfect formula hasn’t changed over the centuries. The process of faith happens when impotent man hears the Word, and embraces it, knowing that with it comes the power to obey.

He who has ears to hear will pay attention to the Word of God. He will not pretend to have any special ability in himself but will expect to receive it from the very Word he hears. After all, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Word that was in the beginning, that was with God, and was God, continues to speak through the Scriptures. He calls out to man with words that cannot be misunderstood . . . only disobeyed.

“Follow me.”

How tragic that as far back as Eden man has used his God-given power of choice, to go against the example of light and firmament and tree and sun. The very quality that is our unique crown is turned into a deadly noose.

Today, the same challenge stands. I am not forced to respond correctly, like nature around me. Rather, it is my privilege to obey willingly, with thankfulness, with praise, with awe.

Dear Father, I look to You and want to obey. Help me remember that even as I read Your Word and hear Your voice, You are offering the power to say, “Yes, Lord.” and act. Amen.