A 2020 Call for men and women with the “Obed Factor”
Today angry mobs are in the streets, rioting over certain injustices committed. But they go to far. Destruction of their very own countrymen robs the moment and the movement of its important significance. We cannot be a nation of lawlessness. We also cannot be a nation without humane recourse. But mob rule, mob justice, will not govern by either.
We read in 2 Chronicles 28 that the Lord was not pleased with Ahaz, king of the southern Israelite nation of Judah (vv1-4). Because of the heinous sins of Ahaz God used an alliance between Syria (Aram) and Israel to bring remedial judgment on Ahaz and Judah. Israel of course was the rival northern Israelite nation bordering Judah. The nation of Israel was more than happy to join in the fight against Judah. [The prophet Isaiah offered a way out for Ahaz, if he would but call upon God for deliverance. But Ahaz rejected Isaiah’s words of counsel – Isa 7:1-12]
The result was that Israel slaughtered 120,000 warriors of Judah, took 200,000 women and children captive, intending to make slaves of them and seized enormous amounts of plunder. But this victory went too far as they were indulging their own lust for superiority. So when they returned to the capital city of Samaria the prophet Obed met them. This is the only place we read of this particular prophet. Few would recognize his name.
Listen to these words of Obed (vv9-11):
“The Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God? Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord’s fierce anger has been turned against you!” (NLT)
We have seen angry and arrogant mobs are in the streets of our cities rioting over certain injustices committed. They are right to protest injustice. In America we have the right to peacefully protest. But, like Israel, these mobs go too far. They kill, hurt and maim their own countrymen. They destroy, lute and burn the businesses of their own countrymen. They ignore the rule of law and put the lives of all their own countrymen in danger. We cannot be a nation of lawlessness. We also cannot be a nation without humane recourse. But mob rule, mob justice, will not govern by either.
What is the “Obed Factor”?
Who is this Obed? The name Obed means, “servant; worshipper.” Obed was a man of God, a servant and worshipper of God. “His prophecy [is merely] an argument [for] brotherly kindness and affection, and yet few men have ever rendered a nobler service to their fellow men than that recorded of him.”– The Biblical Illustrator. Obed goes alone with no one to stand with him. He faces the prospect of ridicule and mocking. There is no hint of fame for him but only to forgo the further harm and desecration of Judah, their Israelite brothers.
He goes alone but in the background there are four other men of conscience. Perhaps there are many others, but they are afraid to speak (much like our day today). Yet, four men are named in Scripture who cut across the grain of the moment. They come forward to stand with Obed. I will name them here because Scripture does so (v12). Their fathers are also named. All this reminds me of the sacred trust I have for my sons and daughters and that speaking up for what is right, just and good is worthy of recognition. They are, “Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai.”
The end result was that the prisoners were released. The four men mentioned were the ones who came forward to lead out in the distribution of clothes from the plunder to the naked prisoners. They gave the prisoners sandals to wear, food to eat and dressed their wounds. The prisoners were taken and returned to their own people in Judah. Lives and honor were saved that day.
The“Obed Factor” is the comportment of an individual or group of individuals who have a vital relationship with God and the presence of mind to speak clearly and take action for God when called upon by his Spirit. The Obed voice is that voice in our country and in our communities that speaks out in humanitarian mercy for God and the good of all. #AgentOfCompassion
Where are the Obeds Among Us?
As I look over the landscape of 2020 I ask the question, “Where are the Obeds among us?”
Who among us in 2020 has the Obed courage of his/her convictions? Who among us in 2020 can and will take some Obed action to curb the base instincts of man? Who among us in 2020 has the presence of mind to speak, not in hot-blooded condescension, but in a calm, clear Obed voice, speak nobly?
OBED: Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, is an Obed in our midst. He shows courage in the hour of difficulty. He said this on September 23, 2020,
“..If we simply act on emotion or outrage there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge. In our system, criminal justice isn’t a quest for revenge. It is a quest for truth, evidence and facts and the use of that truth as we fairly apply laws. Our reaction to the truth is what kind of society we want to be. Do we really want the truth or a truth it fits our narrative? Do we want the facts or accept our own version of events? We, as a community, must make this decision.”
OBED: Minister, Rev. Franklin Graham, is an Obed in our midst. He shows courage in the hard times. He will lead a prayer vigil through the Washington D.C. National Mall, Saturday, September 26, 2020. The vigil and walk will start at 12:00 noon (EST). You can watch the prayer vigil on live stream, hosted by Mike Huckabee & Cissis Graham Lynch.
LINK PROVIDED HERE:
BE ABOUT THE SENTINEL ORDERS:
I cannot attend prayer vigil in person but I intend to watch the live feed and spend time on Saturday, Sep 26, in fasting and prayer for our country, its leaders and its cities. Lord, may this sentry be an Obed voice, an Obed spirit, and have the heart of an Obed on behalf of my beloved country and the community in which I live.