Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25.46, ESV)¹
¹It has been said that the word “eternity” is the longest word in the Bible. Since we are time bound people, we do not understand what constitutes eternity. Our understanding of an average lifespan of 70-80 years is literally nothing in comparison to eternity. James taught, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4.14, ESV).
Eternity is not measure as we measure time. There is no seconds, hours, days, months, or years; it is a place without beginning or end. Simply put, we cannot even begin to perceive the concept of eternity.
Where will you spend eternity? The way we live presently determines that outcome. Jesus says that the unrighteous (those who disobey) will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous (those who obey in faith) into eternal life.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to serve God and prepare for eternity, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“And Samuel said, ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.’” (1 Samuel 15.22).¹
God gave clear instructions for Saul to devote to destruction all the Amalekites for their opposition to His people (1 Sam. 15.2-3). Unfortunately, Saul did not obey God’s word (8-9). The prophet Samuel asked, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” (14) “Saul said, “‘They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction’” (15).
The problem is God did not say “spare some sheep and oxen to sacrifice to me.” Instead, He commanded them to devote to destruction all that had life; to completely eradicate the Amalekites from the face of this earth for punishment of their sins (18)*. Therefore, God punished Saul that day by ultimately taking away his kingdom (26, 28).
While God enjoys fragrant offerings and sacrifices to Him, He does not tolerate disobedience to His word. One cannot choose to disobey part of a command to try and please Him with part of another command. In other words, the end does not justify the means or “to obey is better than sacrifice.”
If you’re interested in learning more about fully obeying God, then e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
*For additional study of why a loving God would devote whole nations to destruction under the Old Testament please click here.