Friday, May 30, 2008

The Pure Delight in Obedience

In reading Geerhardus Vos this morning (Biblical Theology, pg 32), I came across this little gem:
To do the good and reject the evil from a reasoned insight into their respective natures is a noble thing, but it is a still nobler thing to do so out of regard for the nature of God, and the noblest thing of all is the ethical strength, which, when required, will act from personal attachment to God, without for the moment enquiring into these more abstruse reasons. The pure delight in obedience adds to the ethical value of a choice.
This quote comes in the context of Vos' discussion on the choice before Adam and Eve and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The choice before them, in its most basic form, was not truly to eat or not eat, but to choose their Creator over even their own perceived good. Theirs was not to reason themselves to obedience, but to obey out of the pure delight of conforming to the will of their Creator.

I can't help but reflect on our own tendency, especially in the church in America, to forget this in favor of our supposed rights. Whether overtly or subtly, I'm afraid that all too often we forget that God deserves our obedience even when we don't understand or can't reason ourselves into following His revealed will. Too often we tell God, consciously or subconsciously, that He will have to be patient and wait for us to decide whether or not obedience "makes sense" in the given context. We treat Him more like a lame duck president than the Sovereign King that He is.

Father, forgive us, your children, for our obstinacy and the hubris with which we all too often approach your commands. May we see the reasonableness of your instruction, but obey instead for the pure delight of our personal attachment to you.

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