It was a good time to be King Saul. A descendant of a small tribe, he was recently appointed and anointed king of Israel, the Spirit of God had come upon him, and he had won some impressive victories as commander of the army. After a comprehensive victory, Saul spared the king of the Amalekites, and the best of the livestock was set apart. He then erected a sacrificial altar to the Lord. All of this would have been perfectly in order but for one major issue. In 1 Samuel 15:3, God, through Samuel, tells Saul to totally destroy everything of the Amalekites. Saul’s lack of obedience leads to him being removed from his rightful authority.
How many times have we been Saul? When he was first anointed King, Saul was careful to follow the directions of the prophet to the letter. He was obedient, diligent, and humble. He was open to the will of the Lord to the point that he prophesied. But he got to a point of deciding that his wisdom was greater than the one who gave him everything. I can identify in this. When things are going bad in my life, I am willing to do whatever the Word of the Lord says. When life gets hard, if the Word says to hop down the street on one leg, I will hop, willingly. But once a few blessings come my way, the obedience is tempered with my understanding. I suddenly become an expert on the will of God. I can interpret what God requires of me much better than the people that were giving me the interpretation just two days ago.
Saul’s error was not that he was willfully disobedient. He was told to attack, and he attacked. He was told to destroy, and he destroyed. His error was that he confused a good thing with the right thing. Many times when God tells us what to do it doesn’t make sense to our minds. He may give us words to say to perfect strangers, direct our paths to places we had no intention of ever visiting, or have us sacrifice resources we could not envision doing without. Too often when faced with these directions we chose to interpret instead of obey. I mean, God knows that I don’t like talking to new people, so he couldn’t really want me to talk to that stranger. And He knows I don’t have the gas money to go all the way over there. So instead of talking to the person I don’t know on the street, I’ll call my prayer partner and we can talk for an hour on the goodness of God. Instead of going across town to visit someone in need, I’ll go to both first and second service for the next month. We rationalize and temporize until it is impossible to do what we are told.
Some time after we make that decision there is a price to be paid. In Saul’s case, it was his kingship. In our case, it may be a blessing delayed, or given to another. We may not receive the healing we begged for, or may have to continue in a form of bondage, because the keys to our chains lay in our actions of obedience. We wonder why the lord has forsaken us, why our prayers aren’t answered, forgetting that we are the ones that ignored the answers. The truth of the matter is that God values our obedience in all thing more than any other act we can perform. Our obedience is the truest, most accurate indicator of our love for Him. The blessings we seek and more are all contingent on our obedience. And the kicker is that He makes it easy to obey him. The enemy may try to cloud our vision of the situation, but God has said that in all things He has made a way for us. If you think back over the time that you have truly followed God, you will remember how amazed you were that doors opened rapidly to allow your progress. He always knows what we require to follow him, and as a good Father, He makes sure it’s all there for us.
So we have a choice, we always have a choice. We can be like Saul and decide to show God the better idea we have, or we can be like Abraham, and obey God, knowing that “the Lord will provide”. Given the differing outcomes of those two paths, I’d say the choice was clear.
Heading back to the deep,
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.