Having a positive countenance in scripture means having a positive attitude even when others are causing problems or being disagreeable. In the case of this essay we are using the Hebrew version of countenance which comes from
H6440 and means:
“Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פּנה pâneh, paw-neh'; from 6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.): - + accept, a (be-) fore (-time), against, anger, X as (long as), at, + battle, + because (of), + beseech, countenance, edge, + employ, endure, + enquire, face, favour, fear of, for, forefront (-part), form (-er time, -ward), from, front, heaviness, X him (-self), + honourable, + impudent, + in, it, look [-eth] (-s), X me, + meet, X more than, mouth, of, off, (of) old (time), X on, open, + out of, over against, the partial, person, + please, presence, prospect, was purposed, by reason, of, + regard, right forth, + serve, X shewbread, sight, state, straight, + street, X thee, X them (-selves), through (+ -out), till, time (-s) past, (un-) to (-ward), + upon, upside (+ down), with (-in, + stand), X ye, X you.”
יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace, Yahweh H3068 lift up H5375 his countenance H6440 upon H413 thee, and give H7760 thee peace. H7965 Numbers 6:26
Countenance in this scripture refers to the face of the person or Supreme Being in this instance, that Yahweh would look upon us and give us peace. Our face and countenance are considered the same thing, so that our state of being is shown on our face. Our presence is the example of who we are. In the Hebrew, the original meaning of this word has the implication that many people are sad and show a sad face when their “countenance” has changed. Such as the case of Cain when his offering was not accepted, he became wroth (angry) and his countenance fell. Gen_4:5 But unto H413 Cain H7014 and to H413 his offering H4503 he had not respect.H8159 H3808 And Cain H7014 was very H3966 wroth,H2734 and his countenance H6440 fell.H5307 This scripture indicates that before his offering was not considered he had a happy face and was in a pleasant mood but once his offering was no longer accepted his attitude and therefore his face changed when he became angry.
In the case with Jacob and Laban, Jacob noticed that Laban’s countenance (H6440) was not as it once was. Laban no longer looked on Jacob with favor and changed his attitude or face toward him. Therefore Yahweh told Jacob to leave and return to his land and country and that Yahweh would be him
Gen 31:2 And Jacob H3290 beheld H7200 (H853) the countenance H6440 of Laban,H3837 and, behold,H2009 it was not H369 toward H5973 him as before.H8543 H8032
Gen 31:3 And the LORD H3068 said H559 unto H413 Jacob,H3290 Return H7725 unto H413 the land H776 of thy fathers,H1 and to thy kindred;H4138 and I will be H1961 with H5973 thee.
In this instance once again we see that attitude and countenance are in the same category and meaning. When we change our attitude of something or someone it shows on our face which is then considered to be the countenance. Our face shows what is in our hearts and minds.
Countenance also has another meaning which is H4758:
From H7200; a view (the act of seeing); also an appearance (the thing seen), whether (real) a shape (especially if handsome, comeliness; often plural the looks), or (mental) a vision: - X apparently, appearance (-reth), X as soon as beautiful (-ly), countenance, fair, favoured, form, goodly, to look (up) on (to), look [-eth], pattern, to see, seem, sight, visage, vision.
The meaning of this word is more about the person’s appearance then their state of being which the Hebrew word 6440 seems to indicate. Countenance in this context means the view of that person or their appearance. The first example of this word is in Jdg_13:6 Then the woman H802 came H935 and told H559 her husband,H376 saying,H559 A man H376 of Elohim H430 came H935 unto H413 me, and his countenance H4758 was like the countenance H4758 of a Messenger. H4397 of Elohim,H430 very H3966 terrible:H3372 but I asked H7592 him not H3808 whence H335 H4480 H2088 he H1931 was, neither H3808 told H5046 he me his name: H8034 In this passage this verse is not about his face but his appearance, vision, form, sight. It seems to refer to his entire being not just what is on his face.
Another meaning for countenance is Exo_23:3 Neither H3808 shalt thou countenance H1921 a poor man H1800 in his cause.H7379 H1921 means
A primitive root; to swell up (literally or figuratively, actively or passively); by implication to favor or honour, be high or proud: - countenance, crooked place, glorious, honour, put forth.”
In this passage we see that we are not to favor, honor, swell up, a poor man in his cause. This is not a case about the person’s face or appearance but giving honor and favor to a poor man in his cause.
Another meaning of the word countenance is:
Probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy a fountain (as the eye of the landscape): - affliction, outward appearance, + before, + think best, colour, conceit, + be content, countenance, + displease, eye ([-brow], [-d], -sight), face, + favour, fountain, furrow [from the margin], X him, + humble, knowledge, look, (+ well), X me, open (-ly), + (not) please, presence, + regard, resemblance, sight, X thee, X them, + think, X us, well, X you (-rselves).
Once again this indicates appearance, but not just the facial expressions or form, but it seems to indicate the beauty or ugliness of the person. In this scripture verse it gives us a better understanding of the context 1Sa 25:3 Now the name H8034 of the man H376 was Nabal;H5037 and the name H8034 of his wife H802 Abigail:H26 and she was a woman H802 of good H2896 understanding,H7922 and of a beautiful H3303 countenance:H8389 but the man H376 was churlish H7186 and evil H7451 in his doings;H4611 and heH1931 was of the house of Caleb.H3612
Abigail was a woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance. She not only kept a good facial expression but her entire being was considered something of beauty. She carried and expressed herself in a way that was desirable to others around her. She had good understanding or in other words, it seemed she had a sound mind, one that was turned to Yahweh in order to go astray from her husband who was of evil doing and churlish.
Churlish means: H7186
From H7185; severe (in various applications): - churlish, cruel, grievous, hard ([-hearted], thing), heavy, + impudent, obstinate, prevailed, rough (-ly), sore, sorrowful, stiff ([-necked]), stubborn, + in trouble.
Scriptures seems to indicate that even though she was most likely surrounded by evil she still maintained a positive countenance until the time for her to separate from evil was at hand.
Another example of the word countenance is in Daniel when speaking to the King about eating the food from the kings table, Daniel tells the king:
Dan 1:13 Then let our countenances H4758 be looked upon H7200 before H6440 thee, and the countenance H4758 of the children H3206 that eat H398 (H853) of the portion of the king's meat:H6598 H4428 and as H834 thou seest,H7200 deal H6213 with H5973 thy servants.H5650
Dan 1:14 So he consented H8085 to them in this H2088 matter,H1697 and proved H5254 them ten H6235 days.H3117
Dan 1:15 And at the end H4480 H7117 of ten H6235 days H3117 their countenances H4758 appeared H7200 fairer H2896 and fatter H1277 in flesh H1320 than H4480 all H3605 the children H3206 which did eat H398 (H853) the portion of the king's meat.H6598 H4428
The Hebrew word for countenance is this passage comes from H6440 which is referring to their facial expression and presence as earlier noted. However, in the chapter we see the King Belshazzar’s countenance changed Dan 5:9 ThenH116 was kingH4430 BelshazzarH1113 greatlyH7690 troubled,H927 and his countenanceH2122 was changedH8133 inH5922 him, and his great men were astonied.H7672
The Hebrew word in the above passage means
(Chaldee); corresponding to H2099; (figuratively) cheerfulness: - brightness, countenance.
His cheerfulness, brightness and countenance were changed in him and everyone was astonished because of this. This is also referring to his face and his cheerfulness which would be a facial result of his character. H2122 corresponds to H2099 which the root meaning is to be prominent or brightness. In the above passage the countenance (brightness or prominence) of the King was changed to a great degree that his fellow servants noticed it and were astonished. He was no longer cheerful but of a sad state of being.
In summary of the above passages we see that countenance is referring to the facial, physical appearance, state of being, cheerfulness and prominence of a person. Another meaning of countenance in Hebrew was giving favor, honor and glory to a person, such as the case of not giving countenance (favor, honor and glory) to a poor person.
Now as we look at the Greek (New Testament) meaning of the word countenance we will see if the meaning is the same. The first example we have of the word countenance is in:
Mat 6:16 “MoreoverG1161 whenG3752 ye fast,G3522 beG1096 not,G3361 asG5618 theG3588 hypocrites,G5273 of a sad countenance:G4659 forG1063 they disfigureG853 theirG848 faces,G4383 thatG3704 they may appearG5316 unto menG444 to fast.G3522 VerilyG281 I sayG3004 unto you,G5213 They haveG568 theirG848 reward.G3408”
The greek word for countenance is
From σκυθρός skuthros (sullen) and a derivative of G3700; angry visaged, that is, gloomy or affecting a mournful appearance: - of a sad countenance.
We see that just like it is in Hebrew the meaning for countenance is referring to the facial attitude of the person. When fasting we are not to have a sad facial expression or appearance.
Mat 28:3 (G1161) HisG846 countenanceG2397 wasG2258 likeG5613 lightning,G796 andG2532 hisG846 raimentG1742 whiteG3022 asG5616 snow:G5510
From G1492; a sight (compare figuratively “idea”), that is, aspect: - countenance. G1492
A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know: - be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) known (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wist, wot. Compare G3700.
Luk 9:29 AndG2532 as(G1096) heG846 prayed,G4336 theG3588 fashionG1491 of hisG846 countenanceG4383 was altered,G2087 andG2532 hisG846 raimentG2441 was whiteG3022 and glistering.G1823
From G4314 and ὤψ ōps (the visage; from G3700); the front (as being towards view), that is, the countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication presence, person: - (outward) appearance, X before, countenance, face, fashion, (men’s) person, presence.
Rev 1:16 AndG2532 he hadG2192 inG1722 hisG848 rightG1188 handG5495 sevenG2033 stars:G792 andG2532 out ofG1537 hisG848 mouthG4750 wentG1607 a sharpG3691 twoedgedG1366 sword:G4501 andG2532 hisG848 countenanceG3799 was asG5613 theG3588 sunG2246 shinethG5316 inG1722 hisG848 strength.G1411
From G3700; properly sight (the act), that is, (by implication) the visage, an external show: - appearance, countenance, face.
From what we can ascertain that in Greek just as in the Hebrew the word for countenance is referring to our entire being. If we are filled with inward anger not only is our body a reflection of this but in most cases our face will express this attitude. We will reflect what is in our hearts and minds in our outward appearance and attitude. From all scriptures references and indications our countenance changes when our brightness and cheerfulness leave our bodies. We then in most cases take on a sad or mournful appearance. If we are in Yahweh’s spirit we will exude an attitude of cheerfulness and beauty in our lives and our walk.
From my understanding it seems that we should attain to be like Abigail who kept a sound mind and beautiful countenance (face, body, appearance, presence) even though she was surrounded by people and a husband who had an evil countenance. The question for me becomes how did Abigail maintain that countenance without falling into temptation and spirit that her husband had? Is the statement when their countenance has fallen refer to the time that the spirit of Yahweh leaves us? Do we maintain a spirit of brightness, cheerfulness, and beauty when the spirit of Yahweh is embedded in our spirit but leave us when His spirit departs from us?
We see in the case of Daniel that it seems this was one time that it might not have been a spiritual countenance but a physical countenance. Daniel and his friends were testing the physical food that the king served and chose not to eat food that was rich. At the end of the trial period the facial expressions of Daniel and his friends were fairer and fatter than those who ate of the kings food. This shows that relying on Yahweh had greater rewards than eating from the kings table. Once again it seems that the Spirit of Yahweh has shown through and provided a greater example, similar to the case with Nabal and Abigail. Our countenance (facial expression, attitude, character, and most important SPIRIT) needs to be one of beauty and cheerfulness even in the face of evil.
My understanding on the word countenance is a reference to the Spirit within us. If the Spirit within us is of a positive nature it will be reflected on our faces and in our behavior with those around us. If the spirit within us is troubled or of an evil nature then we will have strife, sadness, anger which will be reflected in our outward appearance. Therefore the passage that refers to our countenance when we are fasting would indicate that if we are struggling with fasting and relying on Yahweh we will have a sad countenance which will be a stumbling block to someone in the faith as well as to a newcomer to our beliefs. However, if we keep our spirit in check and maintain a positive outlook then others who are new will notice the Spirit of peace, beauty and cheerfulness in us.
When we are faced with doing things we don’t want to do it is a test of our Spiritual nature. We are either at peace or troubled. If the problem is a significant one our facial expression will be noticed to the people around us much like it was with the king who great messengers were astonished at his countenance. We must pray and abide in the Father’s spirit in order not to have our whole being come into subjection to evil.
In the dictionary countenance means the following:
[koun-tn-uhns] Show IPA noun, verb, coun·te·nanced, coun·te·nanc·ing.
1. appearance, especially the look or expression of the face: a sad countenance.
2. the face; visage.
3. calm facial expression; composure.
4. approval or favor; encouragement; moral support.
5. Obsolete . bearing; behavior.
Countenance is considered a noun which is a person, place or thing. It makes up who the person is and is not a behavior but in most cases is related solely to the face. If we are calm, our attitude will reflect that and our whole being will follow suit. In most cases when someone uses the word countenance it means that they have a sad face, facial expression or body language. We need to make sure that our appearance is a reflection of calm and peace.
May our inward spirit be a reflection to the outside world of a calm, peaceful composure.
This subject is often one brought up time and time again how my obedience is one that is failing. As learning from the subject of countenance above I see that my Spirit within me is what is causing my countenance and obedience to fail. If I don’t heed to Yahweh’s Spirit then my countenance and obedience is affected. If my countenance or lack of listening to the Spirit is full of anger, evil, and churlish dealings then my obedience to those in authority will also fail.
The first instance of the word obedience is found in Rom_1:5 By G1223 whom G3739 we have received G2983 grace G5485 and G2532 apostleship,G651 for G1519 obedience G5218 to the faith G4102 among G1722 all G3956 nations,G1484 for G5228 his G848 name:G3686
Obedience in this verse comes from
From G5219; attentive hearkening, that is, (by implication) compliance or submission: - obedience, (make) obedient, obey (-ing).
We learn that we must have attentive hearkening, compliance or submission. In the above scripture verse we must really listen and submit to the faith among all nations for His name. We must submit and obey to what we are being told to do.
Rom 5:19 ForG1063 asG5618 byG1223 oneG1520 man'sG444 disobedienceG3876 manyG4183 were madeG2525 sinners,G268 soG3779 (G2532) byG1223 theG3588 obedienceG5218 of oneG1520 shall manyG4183 be madeG2525 righteous.G1342
Disobedience is the above passage comes from G3876
From G3878; inattention, that is, (by implication) disobedience: - disobedience.
Therefore in applying the meanings of obedience and disobedience to the above scripture it should read like this: “For as by one man’s inattention many were made sinners, so by the attentive hearkening of one shall many be made righteous.” This to me is saying that if one person obeys the word of Yahweh and hearkens to his voice many are made righteous but if one man does not hearken to Yahweh’s voice then many were made sinners. The disobedience (inattention) of one can bring down a whole group of people.
In 1 Corinthians 14:34 we see a different definition of the word obedience:
1Co 14:34 Let yourG5216 womenG1135 keep silenceG4601 inG1722 theG3588 churches:G1577 forG1063 it is notG3756 permittedG2010 unto themG846 to speak;G2980 butG235 they are commanded to be under obedience,G5293 asG2531 alsoG2532 saithG3004 theG3588 law.G3551
From G5259 and G5021; to subordinate; reflexively to obey: - be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.
In the above scripture verse we have the understanding from the word obedience in this context that women are to reflexively obey in accordance to the law. Now this verse is referencing to women in the assembly not in to the relationship of husband and wife according to the meaning of this verse. However, what is the meaning of the word obedience in relation to a husband and wife? We read that in Ephesians 5:22 we see the same Greek word G5293 as above that we are to reflexively obey our husbands.
Eph 5:22 Wives,G1135 submit yourselvesG5293 unto your ownG2398 husbands,G435 asG5613 unto theG3588 Master.G2962
This scripture means that we are to automatically obey our husbands without question or delay. We are to attentively hearken to his voice and what he says or do. Such as the example from the above passage that to disobey brings about many sinners from one person so does hearkening to your husband brings about righteousness to many.
Some may ask what do we do if our husbands are telling us to do something that is wrong or against our beliefs? Do we still hearken or obey? If we use the example of a king or person in authority who asks or tells us to do something that is wrong or against the bible do we obey them? In the situation of a husband and wife it seems that we are to be of one spirit and if the Spirit is of Yahweh then obeying those in authority is what we are to do. If we are being asked or told to do something that is biblically wrong then it will be up to Yahweh to correct the person in authority. The problem with obeying stems from our personal desires to obey, such as when we are asked to do something we just don’t want to do and we disobey. This is when we are standing in the path of unrighteousness and called a sinner. If we decide not to do something because of our attitude and feelings about the subject then we are in the wrong. Women are to be attentive to the word of Yahweh and obey his authority including those He has put in power. It does not matter if we agree or not with the decisions being made for Yahweh will judge those who are wrong. This is where the scripture verse applies that due to our obedience a husband may be won to the faith due to the conversation of the wife.
1Pe 3:1 Likewise,G3668 ye wives,G1135 be in subjectionG5293 to your ownG2398 husbands;G435 that,G2443 if anyG1536 obey notG544 theG3588 word,G3056 they alsoG2532 may withoutG427 the wordG3056 be wonG2770 byG1223 theG3588 conversationG391 of theG3588 wives;G1135
Obey not in this verse comes from G544
From G545; to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely): - not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.
This means that is a husband wilfully and perversely disbelieves the word of Yahweh but by our conversation he might be won to believe and hearken unto Elohim. The first example we see of the word “obey” is in Gen 27:8 NowH6258 therefore, my son,H1121 obeyH8085 my voiceH6963 according to that whichH834 IH589 commandH6680 thee.
Obey is H8085 which means H8085
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.): - X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear (-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim (-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever [heareth], witness.
It is interesting to note that the first definition of the word obey is to hear intelligently. We understand that the word obedience means to hearken but we see that the root word of obedience means to be attentive. It falls into line that putting the whole word together in context would be to reflexively hearken to intelligent hearings. What that means is that we automatically listen for intelligent (sound) teachings. When we disregard and are inattentive to what we are being told then we are listening to ranting’s of a fool more or less. This would explain why many become sinners by being disobedient because the words from someone who is does not hearken does not make sense.
Exo 23:21 “Be on guard before Him and obey His voice. Do not rebel against Him, for He is not going to pardon your transgression, for My Name is in Him.
Another meaning to the word obey is to discern, do we discern what people are telling us when we are disobedient or just following our feelings and emotions? This would also explain why when the Scriptures tell us not to eat of a certain food that if we disobey that we end up suffering the consequences since we did not discern our feelings and emotions at that time. In a way it seems that someone who obeys is not what I used to think; that they just do what someone tells them to do but in the scriptural sense of the word they are obeying intelligent teachings. We have been conditioned to believe that if we obey those in authority including our husbands that we are just blind sheep doing what we are told and not attentively listening for intelligent (sound) teachings.
Rom 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
However, another argument stands in place. What about the “disobedience” of Abigail to her husband Nabal. We read that Nabal was of evil character and dealings yet Abigail had an attitude of beauty who in some people’s eyes might be considered to go behind her husbands back and speak evil of her husband and not obey his authority to David. It seems that the Spirit within her was hearing the intelligent teachings and hearkening to what Yahweh would have her do. For whatever reason those is Nabal’s army and employ were spared the annihilation that David had planned to do to them.
Pro 19:16 He who guards the command guards his life, He who despises His ways dies1. Footnote: This is an unchanging and central message throughout Scripture: Obedience to His commands (His voice) leads to life – disobedience leads to death!
Obedience also brings into play the meaning of compliance and submission. When we are compliant we will do what we are told without issue as well as the issue of submission is along the same lines. However, if we refer back to the meaning of obedience we are attentively listening to intelligent teachings and therefore are compliant and submissive to what we are being told to do. It applies along the same lines as the rules that Yahweh gives us. If we resist because we don’t like the restrictions we are ignoring the reasoning behind what He is telling us to do. If we listen and are compliant and submissive to His teachings and laws sometimes it might be what saves our lives and gives us eternal life. In referencing back to the issue of clean eating, if we obey what He tells us in consuming clean food it will keep our bodies healthy and in good working order that we may be able to accomplish our daily tasks without pain or suffering, but if we choose to eat what we want because we think we know better or think it tastes good then we suffer the consequences of what we are thinking and doing.
Another meaning of the word obedience is to be content. We are to be content in what we are told to do. How do we go about being content in what we are told to do if we feel that those in authority over us are wrong? Being content is a state of emotion which will come into place if we are attentively hearkening to proper teaching and doctrine or more correctly intelligent teaching. There is a big difference in intelligent teachings and those who are to gain from their own power. We are not to obey those who are teaching for their own gain and power which our Spirit which is in tune to Yahweh would show us. This is where the discernment for obedience would come.
Exo 24:7 And he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that יהוה has spoken we shall do, and obey.”
Those who heard these teachings discerned that what was being told of them to do was correct and they agreed to obey to His teachings and laws. If we are of Yahweh’s spirit and attentive to what He is telling us to do we will agree and do so even if it causes us some discomfort or pain. Keeping the Saturday Sabbath and the Feast Days as well as kosher eating are things that go against our desire and will but being obedient to the commands will give us blessings and not curses. If we go against what we are told we are told that we will suffer the consequences of not listening and doing our own will; such as our health may suffer or we may not have enough money to pay our bills, we may not have enough food to eat or even our future generations may suffer the consequences of not being obedient.
Exo 15:26 And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.”
Exo 19:5 ‘And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine –
Exo 23:22 “But if you diligently obey His voice and shall do all that I speak, then I shall be an enemy to your enemies and a distresser to those who distress you.
Lev 26:18 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I shall punish you seven times more for your sins.
Deu 8:20 “Like the nations which יהוה is destroying before you, so you are to perish, because you did not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim.
Deu 12:28 “Guard, and obey all these words which I command you, that it might be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim.
1 Sa 12:15 “But if you do not obey the voice of יהוה, and shall rebel against the command of יהוה, then the hand of יהוה shall be against you, as it was against your fathers.
From the many scripture verses above we see that there are severe consequences if we do not obey Yahweh’s rules and laws. Our children and future grandchildren will suffer hardship and curses for disobeying the words of Yahweh. Just as it was with Adam who sinned all generations after them are still bearing the results of that sin. We are enduring much pain and suffering and hatred from those who feel that we have unjustifiably taken their land, all due to the sin that was done by our forefather who disobeyed and hearkened to another voice.
The word obey in all of the above passages comes from the Hebrew word H8085 shama which means: A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.): - X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear (-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim (-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever [heareth], witness.
We read that if we don’t hear intelligently and follow the commands that Yahweh gave us from the beginning that we will either suffer death, pain or suffering for generations to come. It is a reassurance to know that if we hear and obey what the Father tells us to do that He will become an enemy to our enemies and a distresser to those who distress us. Exo 23:22 “But if you diligently obey His voice and shall do all that I speak, then I shall be an enemy to your enemies and a distresser to those who distress you. Elohim will become our adversary in times of trouble.
The definition of obedience is:
[oh-bee-dee-uhns] Show IPA
1. The state of quality of being obedient
2. The act or practice of obeying; dutiful or submissive compliance: Military service demands obedience from its members.
3. A sphere of authority or jurisdiction,
4. Chiefly Ecclesiastical
a. conformity to a monastic rule or the authority of a religious superior, especially on the part of one who has vowed such conformance.
b. the rule or authority that exacts such conformance
From the definition above we see that even in the English definition of this word it means that we conform to those in charge of us. The word obedience is also considered a noun which means that it is a person, place or thing. For example it is a state of being much like the word countenance. It defines who we are and the consequences that come if we are not in subjection to authority.
Yahweh has allowed certain jurisdictions i.e., police officers, judges, presidents, and in some cases doctors, employers and anyone else who has the authority to decide your future for you. The most supreme form of authority though is the Heavenly Father who has the power to take away or give you life if you so choose to accept it. When Adam disobeyed and ate of the tree he was told not to partake of, he hearkened to a voice that was not of the Spirit and ended up losing the ability for eternal life. He ended up receiving the outcome of death which was not possible before.
Gen 3:17 And to the man He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘Do not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground because of you, in toil you are to eat of it all the days of your life,
Gen 3:18 and the ground shall bring forth thorns and thistles for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field.
Gen 3:19 “By the sweat of your face you are to eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you return.”
Gen 3:20 And the man called his wife’s name Ḥawwah, because she became the mother of all living.
Because Adam and Eve listened to the voice of the serpent who questioned what Elohim had told them would happen if they ate of the tree they were told not to, they suffered the consequence of disobedience and were removed from the Garden of Eden to live a life of pain and suffering.
1Ki 11:38 ‘And it shall be, if you obey all that I command you, and shall walk in My ways, and do what is right in My eyes, to guard My laws and My commands, as My servant Dawiḏ did, then I shall be with you and build for you a steadfast house, as I built for Dawiḏ, and shall give Yisra’ĕl to you.
We see many examples of the rewards we receive if we obey the commandments of Yahweh and guard to do them. If we do not compromise and stray from what He told us to do then we will be given the opportunity of eternal life in the Kingdom and being a ruler of the King.
Deu 13:4 “Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him.
Deu 28:2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim
Joh 3:36 “He who believes in the Son possesses everlasting life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Elohim remains on him.”
The verse below reminds us that if you have the Spirit of Yahweh that wisdom will first be clean, then the rest that follows would be the fruits of the Spirit. If we are hearing intelligent teachings then our whole body will follow in the paths and seek to obey and receive the blessings that come from obeying.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first clean, then peaceable, gentle, ready to obey, filled with compassion and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
The word obey in the James 3:17 is the Greek word G2138
From G2095 and G3982; good for persuasion, that is, (intransitively) compliant: - easy to be intreated.
A primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): - agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
Once again as in the Hebrew we see that if we have wisdom from above that we will reflexively listen and obey to what we are told to do. We will be convinced to obey what is good and right from the Father. The important factor in this situation is having the Spirit of obedience that will make us do what we are told to do or receive the consequences of our disobedience.
Rom 16:19 Your obedience, indeed, is reported to all. Therefore I rejoice concerning you, but I wish you to be wise indeed as to the good, and simple toward the evil.
Rom 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
1Pe 1:1 Kĕpha, an emissary of יהושע Messiah, to the chosen, strangers of the dispersion in Pontos, Galatia, Kappadokia, Asia, and Bithunia, 1Pe 1:2 chosen according to the foreknowledge of Elohim the Father, set apart by the Spirit unto obedience1 and sprinkling of the blood of יהושע Messiah: Favour and peace be increased to you. Footnote: 1Obedience is also stressed in vv. 14 & 22.
We see that Peter had a set apart Spirit that hearkened to obedience and was chosen to lead and be an example to others.
Heb 5:5 So also the Messiah did not extol Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him, “You are My Son, today I have brought You forth.”1 Footnote: 1See 1:5, Ps. 2:7.
Heb 5:6 As He also says in another place, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Malkitseḏeq,”1 Footnote: 1Ps. 110:4.
Heb 5:7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His reverent fear,
Heb 5:8 though being a Son, He learned obedience by what He suffered.
Even though Yahshua did not sin or have sin in His life obedience was learned by what He suffered on our behalf. He did not ignore the calling that put upon His life or disobey that death and torture that He knew would be coming upon Him.
Yahshua chose to obey what He was sent here to accomplish and do not turn aside and in return will receive the blessings that come from His obedience.
Deu 28:1 “And it shall be, if you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands which I command you today, that יהוה your Elohim shall set you high above all nations of the earth.
Deu 28:2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim:
Deu 28:3 “Blessed are you in the city, and blessed are you in the field.
Deu 28:4 “Blessed is the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your livestock – the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Deu 28:5 “Blessed is your basket and your kneading bowl.
Deu 28:6 “Blessed are you when you come in, and blessed are you when you go out.
Deu 28:7 “יהוה causes your enemies who rise against you to be smitten before your face – they come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
Deu 28:8 “יהוה commands the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and shall bless you in the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you.
Deu 28:9 “יהוה does establish you as a set-apart people to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you guard the commands of יהוה your Elohim and walk in His ways.
Deu 28:10 “And all peoples of the earth shall see that the Name of יהוה is called upon you, and they shall be afraid of you.
Deu 28:11 “And יהוה shall make you to have plenty of what is good, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land of which יהוה swore to your fathers to give you.
Deu 28:12 “יהוה opens to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. And you shall lend to many nations, but you do not borrow.
Deu 28:13 “And יהוה shall make you the head and not the tail. And you shall be only on top, and not be beneath, if you obey the commands of יהוה your Elohim, which I command you today, to guard and do.
Deu 28:14 “And do not turn aside from any of the Words which I am commanding you today, right or left, to go after other mighty ones to serve them.
Deu 28:15 “And it shall be, if you do not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands and His laws which I command you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you:
Deu 28:16 “Cursed are you in the city, and cursed are you in the field.
Deu 28:17 “Cursed is your basket and your kneading bowl.
Deu 28:18 “Cursed is the fruit of your body and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Deu 28:19 “Cursed are you when you come in, and cursed are you when you go out.
Deu 28:20 “יהוה sends on you the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the evil of your doings by which you have forsaken Me.
Deu 28:21 “יהוה makes the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess.
Deu 28:22 “יהוה smites you with wasting disease, and with inflammation, and with burning, and with extreme heat, and with the sword, and with blight, and with mildew. And they shall pursue you until you perish.
Deu 28:23 “And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you iron.
Deu 28:24 “יהוה makes the rain of your land powder and dust; from the heavens it comes down on you until you are destroyed.
Deu 28:25 “יהוה causes you to be defeated before your enemies – you go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. And you shall become a horror to all the reigns of the earth.
Deu 28:26 “And your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth, with no one to frighten them away.
Deu 28:27 “יהוה shall smite you with the boils of Mitsrayim, with tumours, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you are unable to be healed.
Deu 28:28 “יהוה shall smite you with madness and blindness and bewilderment of heart.
Deu 28:29 “And you shall be groping at noon, as a blind man gropes in darkness, and not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and plundered all the days, with no one to save you.
Deu 28:30 “You become engaged to a wife, but another man does lie with her. You build a house, but do not dwell in it. You plant a vineyard, but do not use its fruit.
Deu 28:31 “Your ox is slaughtered before your eyes, but you do not eat of it. Your donkey is violently taken from before you, and it is not given back to you. Your sheep are given to your enemies, with no one to save them.
Deu 28:32 “Your sons and your daughters are given to another people, and your eyes look and fail for them all day long, and your hand powerless.
Deu 28:33 “A people whom you have not known eat the fruit of your land and all your labours. And you shall be only oppressed and crushed all the days.
Deu 28:34 “And you shall be maddened because of the sight which your eyes see.
Deu 28:35 “יהוה smites you in the knees and on the legs with evil boils of which you are unable to be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
Deu 28:36 “יהוה brings you and the sovereign whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other mighty ones, wood and stone.
Deu 28:37 “Thus you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a mockery among all the peoples to which יהוה drives you.
Deu 28:38 “You take much seed out into the field but gather little in, for the locust consumes it.
Deu 28:39 “You plant vineyards, and shall labour, but you neither drink of the wine nor gather, for the worm eats it.
Deu 28:40 “You have olive trees in all your border, but do not anoint with oil, for your olives drop off.
Deu 28:41 “You bring forth sons and daughters, but they are not with you, for they go into captivity.
Deu 28:42 “Locusts possess all your trees and the fruit of your ground.
Deu 28:43 “The sojourner who is among you rises higher and higher above you, but you come down lower and lower.
Deu 28:44 “He lends to you, but you do not lend to him. He is the head, and you are the tail.
Deu 28:45 “And all these curses shall come upon you, and they shall pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard His commands and His laws which He commanded you.
Deu 28:46 “And they shall be upon you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed, forever.
Deu 28:47 “Because you did not serve יהוה your Elohim with joy and gladness of heart for all the plenty,
Deu 28:48 you shall serve your enemies whom יהוה sends against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in need of all. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.
Deu 28:49 “יהוה brings a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you shall not understand,
Deu 28:50 a fierce-looking nation, which shows no regard for the elderly nor show favour to the young,
Deu 28:51 and they shall eat the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. They leave you no grain, nor new wine, nor oil, nor the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.
Deu 28:52 “And they shall besiege you at all your gates till your high and fenced walls, in which you are trusting, come down in all your land. And they shall besiege you at all your gates in all your land which יהוה your Elohim has given you.
Deu 28:53 “And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom יהוה your Elohim has given you, in the siege and distress in which your enemies distress you.
Deu 28:54 “The man among you who is tender, and who is very delicate, his eye is evil against his brother, against the wife of his bosom, and against the rest of his children whom he leaves behind,
Deu 28:55 against giving any of them the flesh of his children that he eats, because it is all that has been left to him in the siege and distress with which your enemy distresses you in all your gates.
Deu 28:56 “The tender and the delicate woman among you, who have not tried to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and tenderness, her eye is evil against the husband of her bosom, and against her son, and against her daughter,
Deu 28:57 and against her seed which comes out from between her feet, and her children whom she bears, for she eats them in secret for lack of all, in the siege and distress with which your enemy distresses you in all your gates.
Deu 28:58 “If you do not guard to do all the Words of this Torah that are written in this book, to fear this esteemed and awesome Name, יהוה your Elohim,
Deu 28:59 then יהוה shall bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues, great and lasting plagues, and grievous and lasting sicknesses.
Deu 28:60 “And He shall bring back on you all the diseases of Mitsrayim, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you,
Deu 28:61 also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this Torah, יהוה does bring upon you until you are destroyed.
Deu 28:62 “And you shall be left with few men, although you had become as numerous as the stars of the heavens, because you did not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim.
Deu 28:63 “And it shall be, that as יהוה rejoiced over you to do you good and increase you, so יהוה does rejoice over you to destroy you and lay you waste. And you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess.
Deu 28:64 “And יהוה shall scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other mighty ones, which neither you nor your fathers have known, wood and stone.
Deu 28:65 “And among those nations you are to find no rest, nor have a resting place for the sole of your foot. But there יהוה shall give you a trembling heart, and failing eyes, and sorrow of being.
Deu 28:66 “And your life shall be hanging in suspense before you, and you shall fear day and night, and not be certain of your life.
Deu 28:67 “In the morning you say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear of your heart, with which you fear, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
Deu 28:68 “And יהוה shall bring you back to Mitsrayim in ships, by a way of which I said to you, ‘You are never to see it again.’ And there you shall be sold to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one to buy.”
As I’ve learned from the previous scripture verses and original word meanings that our countenance and obedience stems from our spiritual state. If our spiritual life is not in the place that it is supposed to be we will not hearken and obey what the Father is telling us to do and our presence facial and physical will be a reflection of that state. We need to have the Spirit of peace which will cause us to obey and be in a peaceful frame of mind!
The previous book of Deuteronomy tells us what we can expect from our state of obedience and what will happen to us if we obey. We will either have eternal life from obeying the words and commands of the Father or we will be cursed and wiped from off the face of the earth. The choice is ours to choose.
Written by: Luann Avalos