The other side of the coin from the previous verse, is disobedience.
You can obey truth, or you can disobey truth.
If you are obedient to Gods Word, then blessing follows you in this life to some extent, and especially in the next life for certain.
The only problem that people generally have, is in understanding exactly what obedience means. Too many folks do not pursue a daily study of the scriptures, and consequently they lack an understanding of obedience (they make up their own rules), and therefore they fall into disobedience.
If you have been following the Psalm studies, then you know that this choice is not haphazard, but intentional. People choose their course in life. People know what is expected but they choose otherwise.
And the result of disobedience? Destruction!
To refuse means an active choice or decision to disobey. Rebellion, means an entrenched attitude and dedication to a cause. In this case, their cause is disobedience.
Devoured with the sword, is a phrase that certainly means violence of some sort, whether by war or criminal activity. But it also means to be burned up, to be consumed, to experience loss in great proportions, and sword also means the act of a judicial process.
In other words, the disobedient are guilty, and therefore sentenced and punished for their disobedience.
For unbelievers the ultimate punishment is the Lake of Fire. For believers who are disobedient, the penalty is discipline in this life and loss of blessing, as well as loss of reward in eternity.
For everyone living in this world, there is always the punishment that simply comes with life in this devils world. That punishment or suffering in this world, can be in varying sorts, from discipline, to instruction. Sometimes suffering is for blessing, but that depends on your spiritual status as to whether it is for blessing or for discipline.
Therefore, simply put, obedience means compliance with Gods mandates.
The first mandate is obvious – faith in Christ. For salvation one has to believe in Christ otherwise there is no salvation, and no believer status. Unbelievers have only one issue in their life and that is to believe in Christ. Their life, as it were, does not begin until they believe. An unbeliever has no real life as their destiny is the Lake of Fire, and that is not a desirable life.
Second, once saved, then the issue for believers is twofold.
First they can have a functional spiritual life or they can not. That is a daily choice to either confess ones sins or ignore that process. When Christ went to the Cross, He paid the price for all sin. He did not obtain forgiveness. Those are two very different concepts. Forgiveness is obtained initially through faith in Christ at the moment of ones salvation, and after that, when a person sins, through confession to God the Father.
When we are saved we do not become perfect, we are still flawed human beings. We sin and therefore God demand us to recognize our flaws, and be responsible to accept responsibility and accountability for our sins. When we sin we step out of line and that means either discipline if we dawdle or forgiveness if we confess.
This process helps us to keep God and His plan and His word on our minds, and also contributes to our wanting to learn and grow. If your mind is not on God, then you will drift away and into more and bigger trouble for yourself.
When you confess you are said to be in fellowship and living within the spiritual sphere. This is not a thing you can feel or detect or otherwise sense within yourself. The spiritual life is a supernatural life and not of the physical world. Confession is the alertness required of you, watching yourself and your spiritual status, as a soldier stands on guard watching from his lookout position.
When you sin and do not confess, then you are out of fellowship, having fallen asleep at your post, and therefore living in the carnal sphere. Your spiritual life does not function when you are out of fellowship.
So, faith initially gets you into Gods plan. Confession gets you into the presence of God in a spiritual sense, and keeps you in His presence in a functional sense.
After that compliance, then you are required to learn and grow up in your spiritual life, and that requires a daily study of the Word of God. This is your training and preparation now, for both this life and eternity.
Those are the three basics of the spiritual life. Salvation occurs only once when you first believe in Christ. Confession and study require numerous and daily decisions to comply with Gods expectations of you. To remain a baby is not acceptable, you must grow up and mature, and that requires daily decisions and self discipline on your part.
Spiritual growth brings greater understanding and wisdom, as well as discipline and responsibility into your life, and that results in blessings beyond anything you can imagine.
God has a specific plan for each individual. Each person must live their own life in order to experience what God has designed specifically for them. In so doing, you write your own story, your own song that defines and describes you. Your blessing and life is totally courtesy of the grace of God.
To ignore all of this, means an active choice on your part to be arrogant, indifferent, apathetic, or defiant toward God and truth. That comes with a price, a very big price. Your loss is totally your fault.