Tag: partial obedience

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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Sunday Rest and Reflection:Partial Obedience

Dear Friends,

Greetings on this day of rest and reflection!  May the Lord bless you with refreshing as you worship Him and honor Him by listening to His holy word!  Your pastor has a word from the Lord this day that you and your family need to hear and heed!  Please don’t miss out on being in the presence of the Lord as His people gather for worship today!

As I reflect on the reading of this past week, yesterday’s reading about Saul’s partial obedience comes quickly back to mind.  I find that I, too,  can make excuses like Saul did and seek to justify my own way of obeying God.  Saul easily got rid of all the damaged goods, but kept the best.  He still felt that he had obeyed the Lord’s instructions because he had won the battle and had gotten rid of most of the goods.  When confronted, he said he was going to offer the rest as a sacrifice to the Lord.  This sounded like a good idea, but was not in line with God’s instructions to destroy everything!  What difference could it make if they would be offered to the Lord as a sacrifice?  They would still be destroyed?

God doesn’t take pleasure in sacrifices and offerings that are made in disobedience!  Our sin shouts loudly against us and grieves God’s heart!  He really wants His people to simply obey!  This is the best sacrifice we can give Him.  A heart of obedience to fully comply with His word brings God more pleasure than any other sacrifice!

As you chose what path you will take today, reflect on your heart!  Are you being obedient to what God has shown you is right?  Are you completely following God’s instructions, or making up your own rules and thinking God will understand your intentions?  Read 1st Samuel 15 again and reflect on Saul and his great loss because of rebellion and idolatry.   In His Love, Pastor John

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