Incomplete Obedience is Not Obedience

coutesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent study of King Saul’s incomplete obedience to God’s word found in 1 Samuel 15, once again I was reminded there is no right way to do the wrong thing. To obey is better than sacrifice.

No matter how much we rationalize or kid ourselves, incomplete obedience is not obedience. As my minister said during a sermon on this topic last year, “If we refuse to listen to and obey God, we choose to stand outside of God’s blessing and purpose for our lives.”

When we do not fully carry out God’s directions, we make the choice to stand outside God’s blessing and purpose for our lives.

That’s what King Saul did.

When Saul fought the Amalekites, he choose to do things courtesy pixabayhis way; not God’s way. God told Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites and their property.

However, Saul believed he knew better than God, and spared the Amalekite king, Agag, plus the best of the livestock, and everything else that appealed to Saul and his men.

When the prophet Samuel confronted Saul with his sin, Saul tried to justify his disobedience by saying he kept the best animals for a sacrifice to God. Doubtful.

Saul was a great military leader. This could have been his greatest victory with many more to follow. If only he obeyed God completely. God gave Saul and his men victory over the Amalekites. God expected complete obedience. King Saul obeyed partially, and falsely believed God would be okay with that.

courtesy pixabayBecause Saul disobeyed, he removed himself from God’s best for his life.

As a result of Saul’s disobedience God removed Saul’s crown and the kingdom of Israel from him.

God wants our obedience given out of grateful hearts for all he has done, will do, and is doing in our lives. Through obeying God we show God we trust he knows what’s best for us. We show we believe God is a loving, kind, and good father.

When we disobey, even partially, it’s still disobedience. Disobedience says we think we know better than the God who spoke the world into being, and knit us together in our mother’s wombs.

It’s easy to justify and rationalize our disobedience, isn’t it?

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But Samuel answered, “What pleases the Lord more: burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience? It is better to obey God than to offer a sacrifice. It is better to listen to God than to offer the fat of male sheep. 1 Samuel 15:22 (ICB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Rizpah

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Crows flew over the backyard and I thought of Rizpah.

Rizpah was King Saul’s concubine. The woman who shooed wild beasts away from the bodies of her two sons, and other family members, after they were murdered out of vengeance by the Gibeonites. Because Saul broke a promise made to them, the Gibeonites hung the men and left their bodies for the wild animals to finish off. (2 Samuel 21:1-14)

Gruesome. I know.

It was her love and devotion that caused brave Rizpah to spend day and night shooing the vultures and carnivorous beasts away from the corpses. We aren’t told exactly how long she stayed there protecting her loved ones’ bodies before King David heard about it, and ordered the bodies taken down and buried. We’re only told that it was from the beginning of the barley harvests until rain fell once again on the earth.

Rizpah’s devotion…love…courage…chutzpah, has always impressed me. I can’t imagine being in such a dreadful situation.

With the way my mind chases thoughts and ideas, as I thought about Rizpah, I couldn’t help but think of people we may know who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus as their Savior. I thought of them as the sons’ bodies that were left to the wild beasts. I thought of those of us who are secure in our salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross as Rizpah.

I believe Christ calls those of us who belong to him to leave our comfort zones, go out in his strength and power to those who don’t know him, and shoo the vultures and carnivorous beasts away so they can have life eternal through him. I don’t know how long that may take from the beginning of the barley harvests to when the rain falls, but I do believe it is what Jesus wants us to do. Whatever that may look like for each of us.

Don’t you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners. Jude 22-23 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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