Kraig Josiah Rice
Genesis- The Way I See It

Genesis Chapter Two
Obedience to God

written by
Kraig J. Rice


Introduction Some Scriptures On Obedience
Some Individuals Who Had Obedience Problems Conclusion

We love God because He first loved us
(I John 4:19)


          God gave mankind a simple test of obedience to prove mankind's love for Him, "...and the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat- but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it- for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"
(Genesis 2:16-17).
You and I both know that people do what they want to do. So, why should anyone want to obey God? More specifically, why should you and I want to obey God? Another question might be, if you had a normal childhood, why did you want to obey your parents? Well, you might tell me that if I did not mind them I would get into trouble. But what was your motive for obeying them? It was because you loved them. And that is our motive for obeying our Heavenly Father, as well. Someone might say that fear of punishment is the only motivation- like the kind of fear used in the military. Some think that the fear of God is a literal fear rather than "a reverential awe" but a literal fear is negative motivation. Someone might tell you: "you are going to hell if you do this or that." That kind of fear may motivate some folks for a little while only but then they will more than likely go ahead and do what they want to do, anyways. No, the only true motive for obeying the Lord is true love. Here is what the Lord had to say:
"If you love Me, you will obey what I command"
(John 14:15).

          So, let us take a brief scriptural look at obedience to God. Right after I got saved many decades ago the Lord wanted me to do something for Him. In so doing, He was testing my obedience to Him. For example, about one week after I was converted to Christ in 1967 several of us from the Bible study group on the ship were discussing a shocking incident. We had just read about it in the newspaper. The article stated that a night club owner had just allowed some women to dance naked before a live audience in his establishment. I made the remark to the rest of the group,
"Someone ought to write him a letter of protest."
No sooner had the words left my mouth when God spoke to my mind by placing a thought there which I did not think. God said to me,
"Write a letter."
It was the first time God had ever spoken to me and I knew He was testing my obedience, so I wrote a letter of protest to the owner of the night club, had everyone in the Bible study group sign it, and mailed it off. I never received any response in return and do not know if the letter ever accomplished any good or not. But, at least, I felt I had passed my first obedience test from the Lord.

          The first thing God ordered Moses to do was to remove his sandals from off of his feet
(Exodus 3:5). Why? God was testing the obedience of Moses.

          But the opposite of obedience to God is disobedience. Just where did disobedience have it's start? Lucifer in the beginning bowed his knee to the Lord in obedience, but then, later, pride entered into his heart and he chose to be evil- and the result was disobedience and rebellion to God. Disobedience has it's start in Satan. The bible states that "disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft" (having as it's root rebellion to the core)
(1 Samuel 15:22-23).

          But Satan does not just want to be sinful to God by himself. He also wants to get you to be sinful to God as well. The Bible states that Satan goes around as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. Satan is the author of confusion. Satan wants to offer you a false pathway to God. He does this by trying to deceive anyone who is serving Christ. He wants to de-rail you anyway that he can. He wants you to worship in a cult or in a false religion. Satan does not want you worshipping God. Satan does not want you giving your obedience to Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

          There are evil forces at work today trying to make what is right appear wrong and trying to make what is wrong appear right. But Jesus said to be wise as a serpent, be as harmless as a dove, and beware of men. The Bible states that if we resist Satan he will have to flee from us. So, let us keep on worshipping only God in truth and be obedient to God
(1 Corinthians 14:33; Matthew 10:16; James 4:7).

Some Scriptures On Obedience

          "Do not you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive His approval.
Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you.
Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness"
(Romans 6:16-18 New Living Translation NLT).

One point of logic that the Lord is making here through His word is that God will bless a life that is in obedience to Him.

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose"
(Philippians 2:12 & 13).

The Apostle Paul encourages each of us to continue on with our obedience to God because it is God who is helping us.

"It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.
And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith- for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent"
(Hebrews 11:8 & 9).

One point that the Lord is making here through His word is that obedience is not always convenient.

"We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods.
We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds.
With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ"
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

One point that the Lord is making here through His word is that biblical thinking leads to obedience to Christ.

"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart..."
(1 Peter 1:22).

One point that the Lord is making here through His word is that obedience to the truth is inclusive to Christian love for others.

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith"
(1 John 5:2-4 NKJV).

"Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me"
(John 14:21).

"If anyone loves Me he will obey My teaching."
(John 14:23).

"If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love."
(John 15:10).

He said, "Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?"
(Luke 6:46).

Some Individuals Who Had Obedience Problems:

          So what about King Saul and his lost kingship? What was his problem with obedience? Let us take a look at the scriptures:
And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal."
Then Samuel said: "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king."
Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord."
But Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel"
(1 Samuel 15:20-26).

What was Lucifer's sins? Lucifer (Satan) became stubborn and rebellious against God. Pride was found in his heart to become God. What was King Saul's sins? He became stubborn and rebellious against God. Pride was found in his heart to reject God and His word.

          So what about Nadab and Abihu? What was their problem with obedience? Let's take a look at the scriptures:
"Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.
So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord."
...Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying:
"Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses"
(Leviticus 10:1-2, 8-11).

Going back to Genesis for a second- why did God accept Abel's offering and not Cain's offering? Simply speaking, God has certain likes and dislikes. He is a mighty King and things have to be done His way- things cannot be done your way or my way in opposition to His will. The pottery pot cannot dictate any demands to the potter. Your will and my will have to be subservient to His will- this is the way that things are. Abel offered in obedience to God a blood sacrifice that looked forward to Christ's blood sacrifice. Cain in his self will and disobedience offered something that he wanted to cram down God's throat. God will not accept just any kind of sacrifice or worship so He rejected Cain's offering. Cain took this as personal rejection from God, got mad, and persecuted his righteous brother. And so this same kind of scenario keeps going on even to this present day.

So, what about Nadab and Abihu? Like Cain, they offered something from their unsaved hearts that they wanted to cram down God's throat in their self will. God the Holy Spirit calls it profane fire or strange fire. In their spiritual rebellion in Satan's service they had no right to approach God's holy presence and stick their fists of rebellion in God's face. So what did God do? He killed them. Why? Because as He indicated:
"...that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean." Nadab and Abihu were spiritually unclean- they belonged to the devil. They were trying to hijack God's rightful way of being worshipped by their spiritual pride. And they paid the supreme price for their evil deed. If you desire to learn more, I have further teaching on this:

  • Click on this link for ownership truths

    King Belshazzar in the City of Babylon of old committed the same mistake. He took certain holy items- originally dedicated to God at God's temple in Jerusalem- and offered them to Satan through Satan's idols. As a result, God killed Belshazzar by the Persians. You can read this story in your bible at
    (Daniel Chapter 5).

    What about Balaam? Where did he go wrong? He sold out God for money- Judas Iscariot did the same thing. Satan brags that every man has his price. Satan offers money, sex, power, or fame. If any man or woman yields to that temptation they are in real trouble with the Lord. When anyone sells their soul to the devil there is a price to pay- Satan's method is to use that person and then kill them. Satan has no mercy or compassion and he hates you. Oh, he loves your worship but will soon discard you for someone else. And so this age long story continues on- the contest between God and Satan over the souls of mankind.


              How do I have to live- so God does not zap me like He did to those folks? If you are saved then a simple rule of thumb is to act like Jesus Christ did. If you are not saved then I strongly suggest that you get saved because if you get to the end of your life and die in your sins, then you will have to pay for your own sins (for eternity) in a lake of fire called hell. Do you have any scripture for that? Yes, here is what the Lord said:
    "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins"
    (John 8:24).

              If you want to know how to be saved please click on this link:

  • How to be saved

              But what if I love Jesus and I sin? What then? The bible has the answer:
    "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
    (1 John 1:9).

    Some of my Genesis book links on obedience
    Isaac was obedient to God
    (Genesis chapter 26)
    Joseph was obedient to his father & to God
    (Genesis chapter 37)

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    verses 1 - 6

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