The Consequences Of Obedience And Disobedience

There are consequences for every action, both good and bad, just as there are consequences to obeying or not obeying God’s law.

Blessings and Curses

It could not be clearer that obedience blessings us while disobedience brings curses or negative consequences. There are only twelve verses in Deuteronomy that outline the blessings that come from obedience (28:3-14), but there are sixty-five verses where curses are the result of disobedience (27:15-26; 28:16-68). [1] Although God has determined to save Israel because of His covenant with Abraham, there is still responsibility or consequences for the nation’s actions. The society in which we live operates in much the same way. When someone breaks the law and they are caught, they have to pay some form of penalty. Years ago, I was forced to ride to work with my cousin until my car wax fixed, but he got road rage every morning on the way to work, and every afternoon, on the way home. He passed cars, sometimes briefly crossing the double-yellow lines…and only to save a few minutes. At best, he might get home about 2 or 3 minutes earlier, but I’d rather be late and arrive safely than to put my life at risk for a few minutes of time. Occasionally, he’d pay for his driving by getting tickets, and not only did these tickets cost money, they drove up his insurance rates. Now he pays a lot more for insurance than he used too. His disobedience of the law brought about bad consequences, even though he was free to obey or disobey. In the same way, Israel knows what God expects and they are obligated to obey or pay the consequences for their disobedience. The same thing applies to individuals, and corporately, with nations.

Nearer to God

An interesting thing happened when Israel obeyed the Law. God’s presence or His nearness was felt and seen, however since we know God is holy, He cannot dwell where sin is present, so if there is no repentance, He is not going to be near to any person or any nation as much as He would be if they lived in obedience to His law. Just as God is no respecter of persons, neither is He a respecter of any nation. We know that God did not choose Israel because of their greatness or moral superiority. He says, “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deut 7:7-8), but He does expect us to have regard for the poor, like widows or orphans (James 1:27).

God’s Law

Some say that God’s law is reflective of His character. They reveal Who He is and what He is like. That’s why the law was so important to Israel’s existence. The Book of Deuteronomy is clear that the exhortations to obey the law (4:1-4) come with stipulations tied to the Sinaitic Covenant (4:44-28-68), which is reaffirmed by Moses. This covenant says that both blessings and curses are dependent upon obedience or disobedience (27:1-28:68), and many of these civil laws are being upheld in nations today. These laws deal with societal order, from respecting property lines (19:14), to not bearing false witness in judicial matters (19:16-19), to matters of sexual immorality in regards to the conduct of men and women, both married and unmarried (22:13-30), and even laws intended to keep the courts free of frivolous lawsuits or cases (22:1-12). These laws are intended to make Israel holy and to be an example to other nations, which is why God says that they should “purge the evil from among” them (13:5; 17:7; 19:19, etc.). If Israel had obeyed, they would have been the supreme example to other nations.

Obedience and Prosperity

John Adams; The Second President of the United States

Our local, state, and federal officials expect the local citizens to abide by the law, and to meet certain expectations and obligations, like paying taxes, and if Israel had obeyed, God promised to exalt them too in “praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made,” for the purpose of exhibiting them to all the nations that practice evil, for they are to “be a people holy to the Lord” (Deut 26:19). Shortly after America gained her independence, many of the laws that were written came straight out of the Bible. There were laws concerning property boundaries, giving false testimony in a court of law, stipulations for involuntary manslaughter, and representation of the poor. During his inauguration as president, John Adams wrote “And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence.” [2] Adams tied in blessings for the nation to that of upholding justice and virtuous liberty (obedience), and any possible success was directly tied to God’s presence “with (or by means of) the ends of His providence.” These national blessings were to be upon the nation and its government because they were mutually inclusive. This made America a Christian beacon to other nations of the world, at least for a couple of centuries.

Conclusion

Obedience brings blessings and disobedience brings curses, so it’s close to Sir Isaac Newton’s law, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Breaking God’s law, just as breaking mankind’s law, brings consequences that are anything but good. We are all free to choose to do what is right, even when you’re in the minority, but as you know, what is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. Choose to do what is right, whether it’s popular or not. Disobey, and there is no guarantee of any blessing from God…only consequences that are anything but good.

1 Desmond T. Alexander. From Paradise to the Promised Land (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publish, 2012), 306.

2. John Adams. Inaugural Address, Philadelphia, March 4, 1797, The Avalon Project, Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • SILVERSTREAK

    I HAVE SEVERAL QUESTIONS, why are pastors in the church always so concentrated for the spiritual well being of the Jews, that teach more out of the Old Contract ( Old Testament ) than they do teach out of the New Contract ( New Testament ), is it because Jews are more important to God than the rest of humanity?, did not Christ told us that the first would be last and the last would be first ? Who are God’s Chosen people today ? besides the normal teaching from every pastor I ever heard to cover every thing with a blanket like answer the SIN is missing the mark, when someone hears that answer do you think they understand what the pastor is saying ? what IF all the pastors were wrong and they have been protecting the wrong people as The Chosen People, will God be understanding when judgment day comes ? did not Jesus told us that He is the Way the Truth and the life, and that no one comes to the father but through Him? will God hold responsible everybody that because of their pastoring, teaching etc, souls get lost or should I spirits end up in Hell, do to teachings in the church ? or it wont matter what happens to those souls or spirits, I know they are made of different essence souls are like the glue that keeps the body and the spirit together, does God by His love for all those that believe in Him guides them and let them know what He is doing with them or through them ? and if so then why is it that there is so many false teachers in the body of Christ ? and even when there are so many coming to Christ every time there is a call for repentance, the world keeps going down to Hell in a hand basket ? is it because the body of Christ fell asleep and is in a state of coma that things are happening all around us but no Christian knows where the blow is coming from was it because God fell asleep? and forgot to lead His people, or was it because the sheep have no real pastors to protect them and teach them ? I have many more questions but for now that should be plenty, thank you?

    • pud

      It’s all a made up absurd superstitious story. All of it.

  • Guestie

    “Shortly after America gained her independence, many of the laws that were written came straight out of the Bible.”

    That is false. Most of our laws came from English common law.

    RE: John Adams

    Funny that you would cite someone who rejected the Trinity, eternal damnation, and the divinity of Jesus as evidence for the US being a Christian nation. You have an extremely liberal definition of “Christian”.

    • pud

      Jack has no trouble with lying

  • Carlos Santiago

    That’s a nice quote from John Adams. I just recently finished an Adams biography and its interesting how many of these Founders were subtle sustained by their faith.
    BTW I read the Philippians 2 mission statement article often before retiring for the evening in preparation of tomorrow.

    • pud

      You’re a gullible credulous lunatic.

  • pud

    “Disobey, and there is no guarantee of any blessing from God…only consequences that are anything but good.”

    This is exactly how North Korea operates.

    Demonstrate that any “blessing” from a “god” has ever occurred.

    Always the threat eh jack…believe idiocy or else!

    • Randall

      Sorry for your outlook friend

      • pud

        You are an idiot.

        But has one “t”

        Do you think that the billions and billions of people who have lived and are living don’t look into their families eyes and tell them that they love them? That includes most of humanity that ever lived that had nothing to do with your particular make believe deity

        Demonstrate that any “lord” exists

        Demonstrate that any “next world” exists

        Lunatic..simple minded lunatic

        • Randall

          Sorry pud

          • All Abrahamics are enemies of God subject to soul forfeiture.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCJ5-2kEXnY

          • pud

            Yeah, it says the same thing as the entire human population did when they all believed it was FLAT!

            Which “lord” stupid? There have been 10,000 of them. The odds of you being on the right side are quite small

            I’m not your “friend” and it’s “their” and “good bye” not “there” and good by” which also demonstrates the intelligence level of most “believers” in invisible undetectable things

          • kyuss

            The “argument” that you just advanced is a retarded form of Pascal’s Wager.

            What happens when you get to “heaven” and an elephant headed dude with six arms is waiting for you?

      • pud

        And I’m not your friend I’m your enemy

        And it is I who is sorry for you for being so stupid, gullible, credulous and lacking in critical thinking skills

  • Unhiddenness

    fuck the cops