Verse 60 states; “I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.” I think of our Pastor’s poignant words when addressing our children that “delayed obedience is disobedience”. These two ideas are basically drawing from the same biblical principal. God expects us to obey him right away, not when we decide to do it but in complete and utter submission to the greater asking the lesser to act. I think automatically to the situation of Lot’s wife and how she was turned to a pillar of salt, she was delaying (and actually in her heart rebelling) against the commands of God. She was dragging her feet, the bible uses the word “lingering”. The angels were pleading them to flee for their own safety! “Up” they urged! “Escape for your life!” I often read those words and wonder why Lot’s wife did not have a healthy fear of the wrath that was coming. If God wanted them to abandon the city then abandoning the city was the good and right thing to do. God always has our best interests at heart when he asks us to do something and immediate obedience is the norm not the exception to the rule. Delayed obedience is rooted in man’s will to be in control and to reject Kingship. Interesting that the very trait that God gave mankind (free will and choice) results so often in making the wrong decisions, or reluctant ones. Obedience should always be immediate, and if it isn’t then repentance over delayed obedience should be immediate.
1 Corinthians 4
Verse 20 states; “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ”. As I read this passage for the first time long ago I was immediately confused by what it meant. How could the teachers be the fools and the students be wise? It makes no logical sense so a deeper dive into the context is needed (thank you to my Bible Commentary written by William McDonald). The apostles call themselves the scum of the world later in the chapter but how can this be? It is because they were bearing the reproach of what they were saying and the hearers were coming away as still being honorable society members. They still had their wealth and influence, where the apostles were facing affliction, suffering bitterly by the hands of officials and leaders. The students needed to start sharing in the affliction! They needed to step out of their comfort and start stepping out for Christ, it would most certainly cost them a great deal including their reputation, but it would be the “marker” of following in Christs footsteps. We would bare the same stripes as our beloved savior.