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Obedience… {Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-17:31}

Jumping back in the Word discussions…and instead of recapping from last Wednesday to this…I’m just starting back on this:). For those of you reading the One Year Bible with us through the chronological guide at, there will just be crazy times where you get behind in reading. Instead of getting overwhelmed and putting your Bible aside–let us just jump right back in—reading together and encouraging one another through God’s Word. It is the one thing in this world that is always true and constant. Our emotions will be all over the place–but we can always rest in God and His Word.

Our reading today starts with Saul and Samuel coming head to head. Samuel gives Saul’s the Lord’s instructions—and Saul follows them…well, kind of. Ok–maybe just a little bit. Really, not at all.

Saul was instructed to go distroy the Amalekite nation. He sought out to do just that—but he was to distroy EVERYTHING…even their livestock. Distroying the “bad guys” was easy enough for Saul…but when it came to turning away from their good things—he just couldn’t do it. Instead, he chose to keep the best of their cattle, sheep, goats, lambs, etc. and just distroy everything else.

Obedience—it’s just never easy.

It’s easy to shake my head at Saul and say, “How could you do that? The Lord TOLD you and you disobeyed. Don’t you know complete obedience isn’t obedience? And delayed obedience is disobedience? Come on Saul!”

BUT THEN…I begin to really think about it…

Don’t I some times do the same thing?

Can’t you just hear Saul thinking now? “This is a PERFECTLY good cow. It would be wasteful to distroy this cow. I mean, I could use it to save so many people with nourishment. With this cow–we could feed many. Obeying what the Lord told me to do with it…it wouldn’t benefit anyone. It only makes sense for me to take this perfectly good cow…and chicken…and sheep…and donky and use these things to make the world a better place.”

That is what you were thinking, isn’t it Saul?

Because if it was…I get it.

And I do it every day.

And I ignore that voice in my heart saying…Andrea, you don’t need that. Oh but I do…and not only that—it’s a better deal here than any where else…so I’m saving money by buying this one. And then my phone rings and someone asks for a donation and I say, “I’m so sorry but are unable to help right now. Our finances are very tight, and we welcome you sending us material to read over and maybe we can contribute at a later time.” I’m not saying you or I should give to any soliciting phone calls…I’m just saying it’s my HEART behind it all—and often I’m disobedient and wish that I wasn’t.

Soften our hearts to hear you more Lord.

Help us to be obedient and follow.

Help us to trust in You…even when it doesn’t make sense or is hard.

After Saul’s disobedience Samuel spoke…

15:22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
So because you have rejected the command of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

Saul is then stripped of his kingship—and it says…

34 Then Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the Lord was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel.

Let us never become proud people Lord—or to think we are easily obedient. I am not. When I read about what the Lord thinks of rebellion and stubborness—I am humbled as I think I can be a stubborn goat. Help me Lord to not be stubborn when it comes to being obedient to you. I want to obey you the first time—immediately…I don’t want to kick and have a tantrum in my heart…and then realize it is best—I want to obey in joy the first time and offer to you the beautiful aroma of an obedient heart.

A wise adoption momma friend said, “Obedience is better than worse case scenerio.”

So true.

I want this truth to sink deeply into my heart where I can embrace immediate obedience and trust in my Savior. Truly His ways ARE higher than our ways! And DO YOU BELIEVE…REALLY BELIEVE…that He loves you? Do you believe that He is FOR you? Do you REALLY trust Him?

You can’t follow Him on your own strength.

If the path is easy enough for you to follow on your own, it’s not the path the Lord made for you. The path He has you on—it’s BETTER. But, you will need His hand, His strength and His guidance to make it through. It won’t be easy. But I can guarentee you—that it will be worth it. Because no one could write a better story for you than the Author of Creation Himself. The end will be more beautiful–and it will bring glory to His name as others watch and see—that it was only possible with the Creator Himself.

Help us to trust you in big ways Lord. Move mountains in our lives—and bring glory to Your name! We boldly and courageously walk down YOUR path Lord…BEHIND You…as YOU go BEFORE us. Because of this…we will not fear. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Finally, in today’s reading in chapter 16–God chooses the most unlikely man to be kind. David. The writer of the Psalms…one that we are about to know so well—yet he was the person the world would see least likely to be king. Remember, the Lord can do ANYTHING he wants to, WITH ANYONE He wants to, THROUGH ANYONE He wants to, WHENEVER He wants to! If it makes sense…then it just might be the world’s way of thinking. Thank you Lord that our lives don’t always make sense to us—but it all makes PERFECT sense to YOU as we trust and follow you…no matter what.

Be the God of our stories. Write them for your glory. Amen!

Megan - April 15, 2010 - 3:11 pm

That sentence “obedience is far better than sacrifice” really struck a chord with me. God doesn’t just want us to go to church, to tithe, to read the Bible, unless our heart is in it. Otherwise its not going to do any good. Perfect timing for me since I just jumped back into the reading after getting SO behind after my surgery. I was reading fast, but I was hardly getting anything out of it. Thank you for your suggestion to jump back in and catch up on that later (like on our trip to Ethiopia) because now I am back to enjoying my time in the word. =)
And I love the story of Goliath. Lil Man and I were just watching the veggietales version…it made me remember the story as it was told to me as a child. Do you remember the song with hand motions? I can’t remember exactly how it goes, I just remember it was one of my favorites. =)
When you were talking about the path we are on…I was writing our adoption testimony yesterday for our adoption grants we are applying for and I actually wrote in there that this is not the plan I had for my life…its better – its God’s plan. I couldn’t even in my wildest imagination come up with this life that He had planned for me. Thank you Jesus!