Day 103

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I Samuel 15 – 17:31 (NLT)

Rachel Seavers, Executive Assistant to the Lead Pastor, Welcoming Ministries Coordinator

(Specifically 15:22-23)

I can’t tell you how many times growing up I heard my parents say, “I just want you to obey and do what I have asked you to do!” I admit – I was at times a stubborn, strong-willed child. Now I have the joy of hearing myself say the exact same thing to my kids!

Samuel laid out specifically what God instructed King Saul to do in destroying the Amalekites. He was to spare no one and no creature. Saul decided though that he and his men would not destroy everything, but instead save the king and keep the best of the sheep, goats and cattle, the fat calves and lambs–everything that was good (with the intent of using them as sacrifices later, or so he said). Bottom line, Saul was unwilling to obey completely because he wanted for himself what God told him to destroy.

When confronted by Samuel as to why he didn’t obey the LORD, Saul made up excuses, and even tried to place some of the blame on his own men. I actually found the conversation between Samuel and Saul at this point somewhat humorous! It reminded me very much of the conversations that I have had with my own children when they have not obeyed – ME: “why didn’t you obey me?” THEM: “I did obey you, but then such and such happened and then he/she made me…” ME: “stop making excuses, and listen to me! I just want you to obey and do what I have asked you to do!”

All humor aside, God was sorely disappointed in Saul and even said: “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command” (15:10). From that point on, Saul lost God’s favor, and eventually the throne, because he turned his heart away from the voice of the LORD.

How many times do we not obey God completely? How often do we only go so far until it becomes inconvenient or uncomfortable? Sure, we may start out doing what He has told us to do, but then before you know it, maybe we hold something back or we don’t finish the task. Is that really obedience? Samuel tells us in 15:22 how important our complete obedience to the LORD is – it is better than any sacrifice or offering we can bring to Him.

Samuel tells us that the opposite of obedience is rebellion. He compares it to witchcraft, and stubbornness to worshiping idols! Yikes – that’s serious! I would never consider practicing witchcraft or worshiping idols, but yet that’s what God says our disobedience is equal to in His eyes.

So may each one of us today take inventory in our own life. Is there anything that God has asked of you that you have not done? Are you holding something back that God has asked you to give? Let us search our hearts today, repent of any disobedience and live each coming day in obedience to what God calls us to do, completely.

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3 responses »

  1. Great devotional today Rachel, some enlightening lessons of what God relates with our somewhat juvenile, self serving behaviors.

    I am also intrigued by the fact that God sent / put an evil spirit (or tormenting spirit) on Saul (NLT 16:14-15) when the Spirit of the Lord left him, as a consequence of Saul’s disobedience. This was in contrast with David’s anointing and receiving of the Spirit of the Lord in 16:13. In 16:23 the tormenting spirit would leave Saul in the presence of David (Who the Lord’s Spirit was now with) & his harp playing

    In Judges we read of another time God sent an evil spirit.

    Judges 9:22-24 (NLT)
    22 After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years, 23 God sent a spirit that stirred up trouble between Abimelech and the leading citizens of Shechem, and they revolted. 24 God was punishing Abimelech for murdering Gideon’s seventy sons, and the citizens of Shechem for supporting him in this treachery of murdering his brothers.

    Looking at these examples, obedience is the only way!!! As with disappointing and disobeying your mother, a healthy amount of fear is in order when you don’t follow God’s commands. God certainly brings it to a much higher level.

  2. One of the things that God commands for our own well-being is to trust Him. The Israelites were wavering in their trust. When Goliath came out to taunt them, they shrank back in fear and therefore endured his taunting day after day after day (ever lived there??). David saw Goliath and saw the real battle was against his God and his real Defense was that very God:
    “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
    Lord, may I see the real enemy and the real battle at hand and trust in You unfailing promises.

  3. It seems like Saul obeyed 80% of what God had commanded. I can hear him saying…”Aw, it’s good enough.” I am guilty of doing a lot of things 80%….cleaning my house, staying with exercise routines, following directions in a recipe…and can hear myself saying “it’s good enough.” The reading today made me realize that sometimes I play the same “good enough” game with my prayer life…my reading of scripture….my following through with things God has laid on my heart.

    Lord, You gave 100% for me when You went to the cross. May I give 100% of my love and obedience to You in return….consistently!

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