Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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From the very beginning God has prescribed the commandments He expected mankind to follow.  Eccl. 12:13 says, "...Fear God and keep His commandments. For this is man' all."  In the most simple form we can put it in, this is the pattern God designed from the very beginning for all mankind to follow.  God gives His commandments and mankind is to follow these commandments in the totality they are given, not failing in any aspect of that which has been commanded by the Almighty.  God is the creator of all mankind and as the Almighty Creator, God has absolute authority in all matters.  From the way mankind is to worship, to the way His creation is to conduct themselves in all of the various relationships they share while dwelling here on Earth.  God has given His instructions in regards to the family relationship, the relationship we have to the authorities and governments of the land, the relationship we share with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and most importantly He has given instruction for the relationship between He and those He calls His children.  The point being that God has given specific commands throughout time and He has always demanded obedience to His instruction.  In Gen 4 we're told that Cain offered unto God from the fruit of the ground, and Able offered the firstborn of his flock.  We're told in verse 4 that the Lord respected Abel and His offering, but verse 5 says He did not respect Cain and his offering.  Heb 11:4 tells us that, "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain...".  Rom. 10:17 tells us that "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  Abel offered according to God's word, Cain did not. 

In II Sam. Chapter 6 David desired to bring back the ark of the covenant from Kirjath Jearim.  Abinadab, Uzza, and Ahio drove the cart that carried the ark of God and along the journey, the oxen pulling the cat stumbled and Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark lest it should fall.  Uzza violated God's command in Num 4:15 that no hand should touch any of the holy things.  II Sam. 6:7 says because of his error or irreverence God struck Uzza dead.  the point again being that the commands of God are to be taken seriously.  He will not tolerate deviation or disregard for the things He has commanded in any matter. 

In I Kings 12 after the death of King Solomon, Israel became a divided nation, with Rehoboam, Solomon's son, reigning over the kingdom of Judah and Jeroboam reigning over the 10 northern tribes of Israel.  In this same chapter beginning in verse 26 we're told that Jeroboam feared that the people he was ruling over would return to the house of David (Rehoboam).  In verse 27 Jeroboam said, "If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah."  Fearing this, Jeroboam set up high places and idols for the people to worship, saying in verse 28 "...It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.  Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!"  Jeroboam set up places of worship in Dan and Bethel and he even ordained a feast for the people to observe to take the place of the feast they were supposed to observe in Jerusalem, even setting up altars to sacrifice on.  Jeroboam sinned against God and caused the people he was ruling over to sin because God's commands we're disregarded.  In I Kings 14 we are told of the punishment Jeroboam would receive from God because of his sin, notice verses 9 thru 11, "but you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back--- (10) therefore behold! I will bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male in Israel, bond and free; I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as one takes away refuse until it is all gone. (11) The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Jeroboam and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field; for the Lord has spoken!"  Again, an example of God's punishment on those who disregard His commands and try to replace them with their own ideas. 

Today, the way we live our lives, the way we treat others, the way we worship, everything we do must be done according the instruction given in the New Testament.  When Christ was sacrificed upon the cross He brought into effect the New Covenant that we are under still today.  And under that New Covenant God has given us the promise of forgiveness of sins and an eternal home with Him in heaven if we will simply obey.  Under this covenant we, as God's children have the responsibility to hold up our end of the covenant, and that is total submission to God. 

- Garrett Alsip