1 Samuel 15:1-17:31
1 Samuel 15:19-22, “‘Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?’ ‘But I did obey the Lord,’ Saul said. ‘I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely 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, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.’ But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams…’”
In yesterday’s reading, Israel’s first king, Saul, grew impatient and lacked trust in God’s timing, which led him to disobey God’s command. Today, we find him up to the same old antics. And once again, he learned the hard way that partial obedience is still disobedience!
Saul was commanded to destroy all things Amalekite. But instead of fully obeying, he “pounced on the plunder.” And then, when the prophet Samuel called him out for his disobedience, he made excuses — he passed the buck and blamed the soldiers, claiming they took the best of the livestock to sacrifice to God. Yet, what did Saul do himself? He allowed the enemy’s king, Agag, to live. Although he regretted his wrongdoing, his lack of follow-through on God’s command led God to reject him as Israel’s king.
When God puts something on your heart, do it! Commit to following through completely! The cost of obedience may seem high, but the price of disobedience is always greater. Is there a stance you need to take? Don’t waver from it! Will a Christ-centered decision potentially cause you to lose popularity or even face rejection? It’s possible. Nonetheless, own your faith and stick to your beliefs — be known for it. When you fall short of fully obeying God, the plunder is never worth the price!
Father, I desire to be found faithful. Is there anything You’re asking of me that I haven’t followed through on? Please make this clear and give me the courage and strength to obey fully. Let no plunder pull me away from following You! Amen.