God chose Saul to be Israel's first king and He used him to rescue Israel. Saul was 30 years old when he became king and he would reign over Israel for 40 years. At first, Saul sought the Lord before going into battle, but soon he would begin to make his own decisions. In I Samuel, chapter 13, we see that the Philistines brought a great army against Israel. Saul waited 7 days for Samuel as he was instructed, so that together they could seek God's counsel. But when Samuel didn't appear, Saul decided to jump ahead and begin the sacrifice on his own against God's command.
We do this too. When we are faced with a trial, we began by praying and seeking God's guidance and wisdom. Sometimes, it seems that all we are doing is praying and that nothing is happening in turn. We begin to assume that God's not answering, and when we are desperate or impatient enough, we decide to "fix" the problem ourselves without waiting for God's direction. What we don't always realize, is that sometimes, that is the point of our trial. To test our faith and reliance on God. How will we react when God makes us wait?
Let's look at the consequence of Saul's decision.
"Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, but Samuel said, 'What is this you have done?' Saul replied, 'I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn't arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. So I said, 'The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven't yet asked for the Lord's help!' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.' 'How foolish!' Samuel exclaimed. 'You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command.' " ~ I Samuel 13:10-14
Saul's impatience, lost him his kingdom. God had already picked someone else for the job because of Saul's disobedience. Only two chapters over do we see Saul's disobedience repeated. God allowed Saul to be successful in his battles, but he knew Saul would fail at obedience again.
"One day Samuel said to Saul, 'It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of His people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation - men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys." ~ I Samuel 15:1-3
These were God's instructions given to Saul through Samuel. Very detailed. How did Saul respond? With complete obedience? Verses four through nine, show us Saul's decision. He gathered his army of 210,000 men and together they slaughtered the Amalekites. Saul killed everyone but King Agag of the Amalekites and he kept the best of the livestock as well as anything else that appealed to him. God was greatly grieved over Saul's disobedience.
"Then the Lord said to Samuel, 'I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.' Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night." ~ I Samuel 15:10
This verse breaks my heart. Not for Saul, but for myself. How often have I not been loyal to the Lord and refused to obey His commands? Unfortunately, too many times to count. I know I have grieved Him because of my disobedience and that hurts me. I want to do better and my desire is to obey Him completely.
When Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience, Saul tried to justify his actions by offering what he took as sacrifices to God. (I Samuel 15:19-21) May Samuel's response speak to you the way it has spoken to me.
"But Samuel replied, 'What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.' " ~ I Samuel 15:22-23
Are we obedient to God's voice?
Do we listen and obey His Word?
Do we obey some of His commands but not others, because they don't fit into today's culture?
Do we justify our disobedience by what we have to offer back to Him instead?
What do we have to offer God that He hasn't provided for us? His Son paid the sacrifice for our sins, our disobedience. Jesus covered that for us. So what do we have left to give?
As we go about our everyday lives this week, my prayer for each of us is to strive, seek and live out obedience to God's Word, His voice. He has much more to bless us with, if only we will obey Him and trust Him.
May God bless each of you this week.
Keep reading God's Word!
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "
Hi! I'm Andrea, wife to my handsome hubby, homeschooling mama to my 5 amazing blessings (with one more on the way), and daughter of the King of kings. I am so glad you have stopped by my little piece of the web. My prayer is that the Lord will use this blog to encourage you in your personal, daily walk with Christ.