Rebellion, witchcraft, and arrogance

Scripture reading for March 19: 1st Samuel 13-15

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, bats, curses, and evil including violence, blood and death.  Our modern culture promotes the occult through television and movies that are watched by millions.  Children’s books, like ‘Harry Potter’ introduce the young to occult teaching as entertainment. Games like dungeons and dragons are used by the naive promoting the occult. God’s Word is clear, participation in the occult is rebellion against His Word.

Saul was anointed and empowered to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king who would protect them.  The Philistines prepared a huge army with horses and chariots to attack Israel. Samuel, the prophet, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord in order to seek God for direction . Saul waited but grew impatient and although not a priest, decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14) 

Samuel then instructed Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt.   Saul obeyed, but only partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  We must take note that partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  We can call it entertainment, but God still calls it sin!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in our lives or homes!   Are you in ‘partial’ obedience in any of these areas of sinful behavior? What actions can you take today to bring God’s grace?

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