Read 1 Samuel 12
Saul's foolish vow (I Sam. 14:24-30); Meet Eli the priest, Samuel the prophet, Saul the king, David the shepherd boy. His account of "rags to riches."
And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (I Sam. 15:22).
Saul had been given specific instructions from God concerning the Amalekites. God had told him to destroy these people for the wrongs they had done to Israel (15:2). Saul was not to leave anyone or anything alive. Saul disobeyed God first of all by taking their king, Agag, alive. Then he had kept the best of the livestock which had been ordered by God to be killed.
God spoke to Samuel of what had transpired and that He repented of making Saul the king of Israel. Samuel grieved greatly and set out to confront Saul. When Samuel challenged Saul for his disobedience, Saul confidentially replied that he had obeyed God. He told Samuel that the people had taken the best of the animals to sacrifice to God.
Saul either did not understand the wrong he had done or knew and was trying to cover up his sin with an excuse. Samuel would not let Saul dodge what he had done. He told Saul that he had disobeyed God. Furthermore, he told him that even if he thought he had a good reason for keeping the animals, obedience was better than sacrifice. He even went so far as to say that disobedience or rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft. This of course is reinforced by Scripture. Any time God's law is broken the violations are equal. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).
The Word of God is very clear with its laws and commandments. That being said, we often find it easy to bend and conform it to fit our lifestyle. At times we might find something in the Word that is hard to follow. We might even disagree with what it says. One of the purposes of God's Word is to teach us how to live a Christ-like life. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (Jas. 1:25) Disagreeing with the scripture does not excuse us for not following what God directs through His Word. However, many will do just that. It is the action of many to "interpret" the Word of God to fit the way that they want to live. In reality the action should be just the opposite. Our lives should be transformed to manifest the Word of God in our lives.
It is easy to say that we have never served other gods. Many of us may have never followed another faith, but at times we, have given ourselves to the gods of money, carnal desires or simply recreation. How are these gods? Anytime, we give something place in our life above God then we have made it our god. Have you at times neglected prayer, reading God's Word, sharing the love of Christ or even church for other things that were much less important? Unfortunately, that thing became a god or an idol in your life. We know idolatry is listed as a work of the flesh and not of the Spirit: Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies (Gal. 5:20).
We should always strive to be obedient to the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never lead you against the Scripture. So, let us endeavour to live a life that allows God to be revealed to the world.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
Thought for Today:
No matter what your status may be it is always possible to fulfill God's expectations.
Through David's name (I Sam. 16:13) which means beloved. David is a type of Jesus, whom the Heavenly Father called My beloved Son (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35).
14:24 adjured, threatened under oath; 14:31 smote, struck down; 14:41 perfect lot, right answer;14:47 took the kingdom, took possession; vexed, harassed; 14:52 sore, fierce, severe; 15:29 repent, change His mind; 15:32 delicately, fearfully; 16:18 comely, handsome.
Pray for Staff: Kevin Jennings • Government Officials: Rep. Peter T. King (NY) and Rep. Reid J. Ribble (WI) Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: : English and local dialects • Religious freedom • 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for the privilege of assembling with other Christians each week (Heb. 10:25).
Optional Reading: Acts 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 15:3