Good day People of GOD.
Today we will be looking at 1 Samuel 15: 22 in more detail, where Samuel insists that GOD cares more about obedience, than sacrifices and Kingdom service.
‘But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams (NIV).’
Your most important duty to GOD is to obey HIM. The most important way to prove your love to GOD is to obey HIM. JESUS said that if you love HIM, you would obey HIS Commands (John 14: 15). What is the context in which Samuel made this statement to Saul?
GOD instructed Saul to destroy the Amalekites and all that belonged to them, including all men, women, children, infants, cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys (1 Samuel 15: 1-3). Saul was not allowed to spare anybody or animal. The Amalekites had waylaid the Israelites. GOD wanted to punish the Amalekites, as a result.
However, Saul did not obey GOD’s Instructions. He spared Agag (the king), the best of the sheep, cattle, fat calves, and lambs. He only destroyed everything that was weak and despised (verses 7-9). GOD was nonetheless unhappy with Saul’s actions. In fact, HE ws grieved because Saul had clearly taken HIM for granted. Therefore, GOD took the kingdom away from Saul, by rejecting him as king (verse 23).
When Samuel asked Saul why he disobeyed, he defended himself saying, ‘they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest’. Nevertheless, it was too late. In fact, he thought he had done something good, and obeyed the LORD. He said, ‘The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions’. It is hard to tell if he was pretending or trying to save himself after realising he had done wrong.
Saul may have thought that what he did was noble or right. He saved ‘good’ animals to be sacrificed to GOD later. He may also have done it for ulterior or selfish motives, though. But, it was contrary to GOD’s Instructions and that is where he missed it. This account proves that obedience matters more to GOD than Kingdom service. It is easier to please GOD by obeying HIM, than through Kingdom service.
Hundreds of years after this event, JESUS obeyed HIS parents by following them home, rather than remaining to discuss the Law with the elders and teachers. Every year, JESUS’ parents journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When HE was 12 years, they went again as usual. However, when HIS parents were going home, HE stayed in Jerusalem, but they were not aware. They had journeyed for one day without Him, when they realized HE was absent. They went back to Jerusalem to find HIM. They found HIM in the temple courts, sitting among teachers, listening to them and asking questions. HE clearly was having a good time there. When they found HIM, and HIS mother said Joseph and herself had been upset searching for Him, and HE said, ‘Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (verse 49)’. Yet, HE went back with them and was obedient to them (Luke 2: 41-52).
In addition, the price of disobedience is indeed too high to pay. This cannot be overemphasised. There was this prophet from Judah who disobeyed GOD in the Bible. GOD had instructed him not to eat or drink anything, or return by the same way he came, after performing a miracle in Bethel (1 Kings 13: 1-10). Another old prophet who was informed of what the young prophet had said to the king, followed the young prophet, lied to him that GOD said he could eat and drink with him (the old prophet) at his house. As soon as he did eat, this old prophet prophesied that as the young prophet had eaten and disobeyed GOD, he would be eaten by a lion, and would not be buried. Indeed, this is what happened (verses 11-25). GOD is not wicked. The young prophet did not listen to the HOLY SPIRIT, before going to eat and drink. This is why it is SO important to have the Spirit of Discernment! Therefore, obedience can be likened to the Gold you pay to appease GOD.
You are required to obey GOD’s Word which you receive from the Bible or from a prophet (as in Saul’s case). However, GOD may speak to you through a source outside HIS Word, through somebody who is not a pastor or prophet, or through your heart, and you must obey HIM still. You would know when GOD speaks to you through you heart; even if HE sends someone else to you, you would know if GOD is really speaking through that person. That is where the HOLY SPIRIT comes in, to give you the Spirit of Discernment, so that you can distinguish the spirit of man or devil from the Spirit of GOD. Is it not GOD that says that HE will no longer make laws to be just on plaques and books, but HE will write the law directly on your heart? (Jeremiah 31: 33). It is very important to pray for the Spirit of Discernment in order to know when the HOLY SPIRIT commands you to do something or refrain from doing it, so that you can obey accordingly. It is no longer a valid excuse to say that you did not know GOD was speaking to you. Moreover, only the HOLY SPIRIT can help you to obey GOD timeously and in the right way GOD desires. I, for instance, do not remember the last time a prophet came to give me an instruction from GOD. So, all the instances of disobedience I remember are those where I knew in my heart that GOD instructed me to do something or refrain from doing it, and I either disobeyed or did not obey promptly.
Finally, there is no obedience without promptness or immediateness. My mum always says that if she instructs a child to do something now, and it is only done two hours later, it already amounts to disobedience because the instruction was not obeyed immediately. I think GOD feels the same way as well. HE knows all things, and knows what is good for you. Thus, if HE tells you to take a certain step now, and you are delaying, you may never have the privilege of having that opportunity again. I know this from experience. Time waits for no man. So, ask yourself, ‘What is that thing or instruction or duty GOD has put in my heart, I am yet to do?’ Procrastination destroys destinies. Quickly do what GOD has told you to do, before it is too late! This is because obedience is much more satisfying than regrets.
May the LORD bless the study of HIS Awesome Word in JESUS’ Name!
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GOD bless you all ♥♥♥
AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)
© May 2016. All rights reserved.