You might need to do a good reading of the Bible this time to understand this article. I am reading 1 Samuel for my personal morning devotion. God spoke to me from the life of king Saul about how we sometimes even as wholehearted ‘Believers’ fall in the trap of good motives but wrong doings.
While reading chapter 15 of 1 Samuel, I started realizing the mistake what king Saul did. It would not be a mistake to say that we also commit the same mistake very often. On the meditation of the scriptures in this chapter, one thing became very evident – God is not as much interested in our offerings, actions and activities but our attitude of surrender, praise-worship and obedience.
Samuel replied (rebuking Saul), “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD. To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
[1 Samuel 15:22-23]
To understand the history in brief – Sameul anointed Saul as king of Israel when God spoke to him to do so upon the request of the israelites who did not want to live anymore under the authority of the unseen King and Lord, the God Jehowah. God was not pleased with this decision; however, he remained faithful to his covenant of prospering, protecting and blessing his people.
In 15th chapter, we read that God commissioned king Saul to punish Amalekites (by killing and totally destroying everything which belonged to Amalekites) for their odd behaviour towards God’s chosen people. Saul obeyed his calling and went to fulfill this mission. On his mission, he committed two mistakes:
1 – he took Agag king of the Amalekites alive (verse 8), and
2 – Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good (verse 9).
This is what was displeasing to God. God was grieved (verse 11). Though, the motive what king Saul explained behind his disobedience was good and right (as he might have perceived it), but obviously he did a wrong thing – he did not keep/follow/obey the word of God. On reminding of God’s command to Saul, Samuel received an unexpected reply.
Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
[1 Samuel 15:15]
He not only insisted on his stand but he probably was pretty much convinced (verse 20) in his own heart that what he did (for the Lord) was right and pleasing to God, while it was not. He was more concerned about his own honor among elders of his people and before Israel (verse 30). He was not bothered to honor God. This became a reason why God left him forever.
Sometime in ignorance or in our self-confidence, we overlook the interests of God and we do many things pleasing to ourselves but abhorred by God. We involve ourselves in various activities (including service and ministry) and feel convinced in our hearts that surely this is the will of God, while it may not be. God is not interested in our activities but our faithfulness. He has not made us servants but sons (and daughters).
I encourage you today to retrospect your own life as I am doing it now. Who knows you might find certain things which we are doing contrary to the will of God, though (with good motive) based on the word of God, yet not in the will of God for us. We may have good motives, but if it is not what God wants, leave it and rather obey and follow him!
My heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. I know I failed many times to trust in you, in trying to understand your perfect will and follow your commands. But today, I choose to put my hope in You and I pray thee to show me your purpose and will so that I may follow you wholeheartedly. Help me to give up everything which is not in your will and just walk by faith after you, obediently. Thank you for loving me and helping me. In Jesus Name. Amen.