Matthew 2:13-15 says, After the wise men [the magi from the east] were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death…” Did it cost Joseph something to obey? Yup! He had to relocate geographically and leave behind familiarity, friends and family. But was it worth it? You bet! It saved his newborn Son from a premature death at the hand of Herod! It saved Joseph and Mary from the grief and pain that would’ve resulted from losing their baby! So of course it was worth it!
In the movie 127 Hours (based off the true story of Engineer Aron Ralston), Aron has to choose between losing his arm, which is trapped under a boulder or losing his life. Aron chooses to cut off his own arm rather than lose his life. Was that a difficult decision? To say the least! But was it worth it? Absolutely! Better to be alive with one arm than dead with two!
This is how it is with obedience. It comes at a price, but it’s worth it! Pain would’ve been the result, had Joseph disobeyed…and the same is true for us. Our disobedience to God always results in pain…in suffering…in turmoil (inward and outer). We can’t avoid all hurt and pain in this life, for pain is just a part of living in a sin-filled, broken world (unfortunately). But with that said, there’s so much pain and hurt we experience, not because of the curse of sin, rather because of our own sin – that we absolutely could avoid if we choose submission and obedience vs rebellion. Though obedience comes with a high price tag, it’s totally worth it both for the joy that comes from obedience, as well as the hurt and pain we can avoid. Joseph’s life teaches us that obedience is worth it.