Obey God for Your Good
Bradon: I hereby banish you, Jon Drebert, to the forests of Pigeon Lake Provincial Park!
Jon: What! Can I come back before winter?
Jon: That sounds miserable.
Bradon: Coming up on the Bible Story Podcast, you will learn to obey God for your good.
About the Story
Jon: There was an uprising in Israel a few 100 years earlier and the county split. There was Judah, and then the rest of the country kept the name Israel. Now Judah was slightly better at obeying God.
Bradon: As a result of not being obedient to God. God allowed them to do things their way, and it ended up that both Israel and then later Judah were exiled. Kind of like what we saw with King Saul, who was disobedient to God and did things his way.
Jon: Essentially, another country came, took over and sent the residents to live elsewhere, scattering them among other nations that had also been conquered and exiled. It created a massive mishmash of people groups.
Bradon: Now, they had been exiled for decades, and they had made their home found new jobs etc. Nehemiah was one of the exiles, and he was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia.
Jon: Many years earlier, King Cyrus gave permission and orders for Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. That is what many from the tribes of Judah and Benjamen and many of the Levites and priests did. Still later, there was another group who returned.
Bradon: So now that we learned a bit of the background of this story, we will get into Nehemiah’s story which can be found in the book of Nehemiah Chapter 1.
Jon: Our lesson is this, and I think it could be an overarching theme for the story of Nehemiah that we will be looking at this season. As we obey God, he is out for our good.
Bradon: Obey God for your good – That’s a great lesson. But, it’s not a reward system like training a dog to obey commands. Usually, the very acts of obeying God bring about the good that we later enjoy.
Jon: I know what you mean, but could you give an example?
Bradon: Sure, in today’s story, Nehemiah was obedient to God by asking the King for help and support. The good that came out was that Nehemiah got everything he asked for and more.
Jon: So what does God have to do with that. It almost sounds like he wasn’t involved.
Bradon: It would be easy to miss God’s involvement, but remember Nehemiah prayed and fasted, asking for God’s help. God worked on the King’s heart which encouraged the king to respond favourably to his requests.
Jon: God tends to work on our hearts a lot. So our lesson once again is this. Obey God for your good.