If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.
This, like so much of the Old Testament, and the Law in particular, is a promise to Israel. God promises them the basics of life if they will be obedient. He actually goes on to promise far more than this for obedience, but the promise begins with taking care of their daily needs.
Because this promise is made directly and specifically to Israel, I’m not going to try to apply it to myself. That’s just crazy talk. I will, however, apply the principle behind the promise to my life.
The principle is a universal one: Obedience begets blessing. In the modern world, obedience is often sneered at and looked down upon. The person who obeys some authority willingly is thought to be weak or lacking individuality. But previous generations understood that obedience was sometimes, perhaps often, a good thing. Those folks were no less individuals than the current generation (I’d argue they were more individual than the current crop of folks, who can often be indistinguishable from one another), but chose to submit themselves to things greater than individuals. Far from negating individuality, obedience requires it. I cannot obey if there is no “I” to do the obeying.
How does obedience beget blessing? In several ways, but I’m going to focus on the spiritual this morning. When I am disobedient to God, He, as a just Judge and a loving Father, must correct my disobedience. As a Judge, He must take action against my transgression of the Law. As a Father, He must discipline His child so that I do not become a disgrace to my family. Because He is disciplining and taking action against my wrongdoing, He is not in a position to give me the blessings He would far rather pour out on me. In Malachi, God tells Israel to test Him with regard to their tithes and see if He didn’t throw open the floodgates of Heaven and rain down blessings until they couldn’t find any room for more. The principle was the same: be obedient and look for the blessing. Jesus tells His disciples in John’s gospel that He calls them His friends if they willingly do what He commands. Hard to think of a greater blessing than being the friend of God. God’s marked preference is to bless His children and His people like crazy. Look through scripture and you can almost hear God sighing every time someone is disobedient. And the sigh is one of, “I now must do what I would rather not.” The same sigh that some folks heard from their parents when they were about to be disciplined.
What’s more, obedience gives me peace with God. When I am obedient, I have both a clear conscience and the satisfaction of knowing I put a smile on the face of God. That peace with God overflows into more blessing, though, and I am a more joyful, thankful, and more generally pleasant to be around when I am being obedient. Will obedience result in tangible blessings? Sometimes. Financial? Sometimes. Spiritual? Emotional? Mental? Yes. In the places where it matters most in a crazy, unloving, and chaotic world is where God pours out blessings until I’m drowning in them.
Obedience results in blessing. This principle is always true. Always.