Have you ever considered that obedience is a greater distinction than miracles?
If a man has a gift from God, it is easy for him to exercise it. In the early church there were many who had the gift of healing. It was not hard if God gave that gift. At Corinth, they “came short in no gift”, i.e. they had every kind of gift, but they were not spiritual. Many were using their gifts as playthings, to exalt themselves.

Solomon was given wisdom from God. But Solomon was not obedient. In Deuteronomy, God warned any future king - not to multiply wives or horses or silver and gold. Solomon did all three. The king was to write out a copy of the law – see Deuteronomy 17:16-20. There is no record that he did that.

Israel’s first king was set aside by God for disobedience, in 1 Samuel 15:22-23,
“…Behold obedience is better than sacrifice,
Attention than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And self-will is as idolatry.
Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord,
He hath also rejected thee from being king”.

Not only did Israel’s first king disobey, so also did the first man - Romans 5:19, “For as indeed by the disobedience of the one man the many have been constituted sinners, so also by the obedience of the one [Christ] the many will be constituted righteous”.

Obedience is angels’ work. Angels obey and serve, see Psalm 103:20-21: “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, mighty in strength, that execute his word, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his will [or, ‘good pleasure’]”. Angels obey and are “mighty in strength”, but do not suffer.

In this world, in the human condition, obedience involves suffering! Angels do not, will not, reign. They serve. In Hebrews 2:5, “For he has not subjected to angels the world which is to come*, of which we speak…” Christians will reign with Christ because we have suffered with Him – 2 Timothy 2:12, “if we endure, [go through suffering patiently] we shall also reign together”; Romans 8:17, “if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him”.

It says of Christ in Philippians 2:8-11, “and having been found in figure as a man, humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, and that the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and granted him a name, that which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…”

What a Saviour and Lord!

* My Bible has a footnote indicating the Jews knew of “this age” and that to follow, “the world to come” to be introduced by Messiah [Christ], See also Hebrews 6:5.

MM March 2009