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Partial Obedience Partial Obedience

Partial Obedience


Probably every parent of teenagers can relate to this experience: the parent issues an instruction or relays a story, while the teen nods and murmurs “um-hmm” without looking up from his mobile phone. A few minutes later, the parent asks, “Did you hear me?” “Um-hmm,” the teen replies without moving. When the young person still sits looking at his phone, the parent demands: “Were you listening to me?” “Oh, sorry—what did you say?” Half listening is scarcely better than fully ignoring someone.

Amaziah half-heartedly listened to the word of the Lord. When it was to his benefit, he humbled himself before the Law or the word of a prophet. He would not put to death the children of those who conspired against his father, respecting the Law in Deuteronomy 24:16 (v. 4). He acknowledged his error when the first prophet told him he was wrong in hiring Ephraimites to join his army despite risks of retaliation (vv. 7–10). He was even willing to take a risk in dismissing a sizeable fighting force.

But Amaziah’s obedience was inconsistent. After he won a victory over their enemies in Seir, he brought Edomite idols back to Jerusalem and began to worship them (v. 14). He rejected the word of the second prophet. He would not listen to his counsel, and neither would he listen to the counsel of the much stronger king of Israel (vv. 16–20).

Obedience to the word of the Lord takes full-hearted effort; a half-hearted effort is disobedience. James tells us to “do what it says” (James 1:22). We must adhere to its wisdom, or eventually we, like Amaziah, might reject all sound counsel. We must trust in the grace of Jesus our Savior in order to walk in faith and obedience (1 Cor. 15:10).

Pray with Us

Moody Radio’s Strategic Marketing team—George Economos, Brittany Bernholdt, and Hannah LaMaster—will appreciate your prayers as Spring Share continues on campus. May the Holy Spirit build a sense of camaraderie, joy, and trust at all Share’s broadcasts.

BY Dr. Eric C. Redmond

Dr. Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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