Friday, March 9, 2012

…… you love God, show it by your obedience!

“Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the LORD told me last night!”

“What did he tell you?” Saul asked.

And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD has anointed you king of Israel.  And the LORD sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’  Why haven’t you obeyed the LORD?  Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the LORD’s sight?”

“But I did obey the LORD,” Saul insisted.  “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else.  Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”   I Sam. 15:16-21  NLT

The Lord sent you on a mission ……. Why did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?  This was the most apparent of Saul’s sins.  God had given him a specific command, and he had directly disobeyed it.

Though the disobedience was the most apparent sin, the root of Saul’s disobedience was far worse: pride.  Samuel refers to this when he remembers when things were different with Saul: When you were little in your own eyes, were you not the head of the tribes of Israel?  And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?  Now, it could no longer be said of Saul, you are little in your own eyes.  He was big in his own eyes, and that made God small in his eyes!

Saul first insists that he is innocent.  He is so self-deceived, that he can say, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and then immediately describe how he did not obey the voice of the Lord! (Saul admits that he brought back Agag king of Amalek).

After insisting he is innocent, Saul then blames the people for the sin.  His statement is a half-truth that makes it a whole lie.  It is true that the people took of the plunder.  But they did so by following Saul’s example; he spared Agag king of Amalek, and with Saul’s allowance he did nothing to stop or discourage them.

The thing that God wants from you the most is your obedience.  If you say you love Him, yet are disobedient, your words do not mean a thing.  If you go to church every Sunday and pray every night, yet throughout your days you keep breaking His commandments and being stubborn and rebellious, your time and prayers are not pleasing to the Lord.

1 Samuel 15:22 reads, " “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.”

 Our obedience is what God wants and what God deserves!   

Here are some more verses that illustrate this truth: John 14:15 reads, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."    And 1 John 2:3-5 says, “And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.   If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.   But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.”

Samuel makes it clear that God is more interested in our obedience than our self-satisfaction!

If you say you love God, show it by your obedience.   It is that simple.

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