Obedience isn’t a guarantee everything in life will be easy. Jacob was a changed man. Where before he lied and cheated to get what he wanted, now he is a man who wanted to obey God. He got rid of all the idols and moved to Bethel because that’s what God told him to do. Then he moved from Bethel to Ephrath because that’s what God told him to do.
But on the way his beloved Rachel died. His eldest son Reuben slept with one of Jacob’s wives. Jacob was obedient – and life was still hard.
So if life isn’t easier, if good things don’t always happen for obedient people, why bother? I think Jacob tells us why in Genesis 35:3. Listen to what he says:
We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.
That’s the blessing of obedience – God’s Presence! If you say that’s not enough, you haven’t experienced God’s Presence!