Reading the Bible through with me? Then grab your journal and pen and read 1 Samuel 13-15. Did you know that partial obedience to Yahweh is DISobedience? As Israel’s first king, Saul had abundant opportunities to serve and glorify Yahweh. Through Samuel the Prophet/Judge, Yahweh had given Saul specific instructions regarding the Amalekites: “kill everyone and all the cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys. Eradicate any sign of those evil people.” The victory was astonishing, YET Saul chose to allow the best of the animals AND the Amalekite king, Agag, to survive. Saul thought that what he was doing was just fine. It was not! Chapter 15:10-11 is another of those sad verses with Yahweh regretting that He had made Saul king and that Saul had turned away from strict, absolute obedience to God. When Samuel confronted Saul about his presumptuous sin, he asked, “...Why didn’t you obey the Lord?” (v. 19). Notice Saul’s answer in v. 20 - But I DID obey! Saul saw his good works as his fulfillment of God’s will. But when Yahweh God revealed Himself to Saul through Samuel, it was to remind him that absolute obedience is always better than sacrifice AND to hear, receive and obey God’s word, especially when facing uncertainty and cultural influences, is expected. Obedience is only obedience when it is willful, personal, and absolute. If obedience is coerced, fearful, or partial, it is disobedience. Through confession and repentance our relationship with Yahweh is restored. But even when we’re forgiven and cleansed, there might still be consequences in this life. Read chapter 15 again and jot down a few notes as you answer these questions:
* How did Saul sin against God?
* Can you “cut corners” and still be obedient to Yahweh?
* Does confession and repentance guarantee escape from consequences of sin?
* When God speaks through His word or His Spirit, what should our response be?
* What was the earthly consequence of Saul’s sin?
Let this be your prayer: Lord, I want to obey you fully. Help me to subdue my rebellious spirit. Remind me often that Your plan is perfect and needs no adjustment. Make my heart desire to trust you more and obey you quickly, absolutely, and without question