God rewards those who obey

The clock on Israel’s national life was counting down, and the nation didn’t even realize it.

Pekah, king of the ten northern tribes of Israel and Rezin, Syria’s king, formed an alliance against Tiglath-Pilesar III, of Assyria. Ahaz, Judah’s king, refused to join and was attacked by the coalition and the Philistines. Ahaz asked Assyria for help.

Tiglath-Pilesar III subdued the Philistines who opportunistically attacked Judah and then struck Israel carrying many people away into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). Pekah was murdered, and the Syrians surrendered to Tiglath-Pilesar III (2 Kings 15:30).

In 722 B.C., Assyria overcame Israel, and its people left their land in captivity.

Before all this transpired, God told Isaiah to tell Ahaz about all of this. The prophet warned Ahaz saying, “If you will not believe, you surely shall not last,” (Isaiah 7:9 NASB). If Ahaz did what God said, his kingdom would survive. If not, Ahaz and Judah would not last.

Historically, and even today, God predicates his approval and blessings on the absolute necessity of obedience. He warned Israel if it did not obey him it would lose its inheritance (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 15, 45). Israel did not believe God and disobeyed him and lost everything.

How can people violate God’s commandments and think of themselves as saved? Israel and Judah disobeyed and lost their countries. Does it make any sense that God would treat us differently?

But, there are those who treat God’s commandment of baptism (Acts 2:38, 10:48) as if it was something God said one could do if one wanted.

We should all understand that belief without obedience to God’s commands is not faith. The writer of Hebrews wrote that those who come to God must not only believe he exists but that he rewards those who obey him (Hebrews 11:6).