“Don’t make me repeat myself.”
Those words meant just one thing. Get up now and do what I told you to do… or else.
I understood that completely. My Dad was a man of few words, but when he spoke, he meant what he said and his word was not to be questioned. He expected immediate and full obedience. He didn’t take the time to explain why he wanted you to do something or even how, but it was clear that he expected you to do your very best. No half-hearted attempts would be accepted. I knew my father loved me, but I also knew that obedience was not optional.
The few times I dared to hem-haw around, I found out quickly that to obey was much better. Rebellion carried dire consequences.
Was I afraid of my Dad? You bet! Was it wrong for my Dad to be so insistent on swift obedience?
I don’t know, but I do know that he helped me to clearly understand the truth of this verse…
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” Psalm 111:10
Just like my Dad, God gives us the freedom to choose or reject obedience to his commands, but God means what he says and disobedience will bring consequences and sometimes punishment.
Does that picture of God make you uneasy? Our perception of God has been reduced to the image of a kindly father, a papa daddy, a grandfatherly, benevolent old man who will pat us on the head and say, “Don’t do that again, honey,” and then let us go on our way.
Don’t be deceived – God means what He says, God expects and rewards obedience and God punishes disobedience.
A healthy fear of the Lord is a wise thing, my friends.
Thank you, Dad, for that important life lesson.
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