1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
When God tells us to do something by instructions in His Word or by His Spirit how do we respond? Obedience on our part is really an act of practical acknowledgement of God’s authority and will over our lives. Included in that is our submitting our will to His will and way of doing things. To be disobedient is to yield to our will or self will over God’s will. It is not a trivial thing to God when we disobey Him. It is in effect substituting our way for God’s way. Our disobedience not only displeases God but it can cause loss and even permanent consequences we’ll have to live with.
The prophet Samuel had just anointed Saul to be King over His people with the command to listen and obey the words from the Lord to him. The specific word was to utterly destroy Amalek, all with him, and all they had, sparing nothing. In the past Amalek had opposed God’s people’s entry into Canan’s Land by attacking the weak, faint, and those lagging behind in the advance. God was saying in destroying Amalek that He hates what fights against His plan advancing in His people’s lives and what comes against their weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Instead of fully obeying God, Saul partially obeys and spares the King Agag, the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good. Read the whole story in 1 Samuel 15 and you will see that partial obedience is disobedience and disobedience is marked by:
- 13 It sets a person up to live a lie;
- 15 It is marked by excuses;
- 19. It leads to doing evil in the sight of the Lord;
- 20 It brings deception;
- 21 It shifts blame and doesn’t take responsibility;
- 22 It also leads to making sacrifices in other areas to appease ones conscience for disobedience in other areas.
- 23 We can know what God thinks of disobedience for He calls it:
Rebellion – It usurps the authority of God in our life.
Witchcraft – It opens our heart to satanic dominion and manipulation
Stubbornness – It is a refusal to yield to the will of God
Idolatry – We worship ourselves or our self willed opinions and thoughts above worship of God.
That doesn’t sound trivial, trite, or frivolous to me. Disobedience is substituting our way for God’s way. Let’s not be so dismissive about our disobedience but instead put the weight upon it that God does.