• Muyiwa Mepaiyeda

Obedience is Simple: Do not Complicate It

THOSE who came before us can teach us many things. We can learn from their successes and failures, accomplishments, and non-achievements.


We can emulate them where they did well and do things differently where they walked in error.


But it doesn't seem as if we have learnt anything—and our inability to become tells our story.


We are consumed with doing things and neglecting being something before God.


AT A TIME, Israel was in a similar situation.


So their leaders said to Samuel: "You're old, and your sons aren't following your example. So appoint a king to judge us so that we will be like all the other nations." (1 Sam. 8:5)


Samuel had questions—and faith does not eliminate questions, but it knows where to take them – Elisabeth Elliot.


So, he took his concerns to God.

And God said: "Listen to everything the people are saying to you. They haven't rejected you; they've rejected me. They're doing just what they've done since I took them out of Egypt—leaving me and serving other gods. Listen to them now. But be sure to warn them and tell them about the rights of a king." (1 Sam. 16:7-9)


AS HE presented the king, he warned them not to turn away to follow other gods. He shared with them God's view.


The Lord will not abandon his people for his great name's sake because he wants to make you his people. It would be unthinkable for me to sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. I will go on teaching you the way that is good and right. Fear the Lord and serve him. (1 Sam. 12:22-25)


With perspective comes contrast.


GOD INSTRUCTED SAUL to go against the Amalekites and destroy what belongs to them. So, Saul summoned two hundred and ten thousand soldiers and went to Amalek.


They attacked the city but spared the life of King Agag and the best of the animals.


And God said to Samuel: "I regret that I made Saul king over Israel because he has turned away from Me and from executing My commands." (1 Sam. 15:11)


God gave Saul great victory but rejected him. Therefore, he is saddened by disobedience.


Previously, Saul took the priest's role and performed a ritual sacrifice. Then, his soldiers broke the dietary rule by eating meat that contained blood. (1 Samuel 13: 13; 14:33)


Samuel felt terrible about what would happen and spent the night weeping.


Sin is a stratifier; grace is the unifier.


THE FOLLOWING MORNING, Saul thought the prophet would accept his explanation, but he was in for a surprise.


He said to Samuel: "I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag, their king.


The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal." (1 Sam. 15:20)


The starting point of obedience is acknowledgement. But unfortunately, Saul did not take ownership of what they did.

 

Sin is a stratifier; grace is the unifier.


WHEN SAMUEL told Saul that God had rejected him as king, he said: "Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord." (1 Sam. 15:25)


He was more concerned about his image than his disobedience.


Are you more concerned about your self-image than obedience to God? Jesus is eagerly waiting for you to come to Him.


Bringing it Together


WHILE Samuel made obedience simple, Saul complicated it.


To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams.


You'll never grow close to God when you live as you please. However, you grow closer to Him when you live as he pleases.


You can never go wrong obeying God - Charles Stanley.

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