I’m intrigued by the life of Saul, first king of Israel. Though not God’s best plan, since Israel demanded a king in their rejection of God, he chose Saul and anointed him to be the ruler of Israel. He was filled with the Spirit and promised a great future IF he would obey all that the Lord told him to do. His first act as King was a raving success as he freed the city of Jabesh-gilead from the ruthless Ammonites. Scripture says, “The Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul” (1Samuel 11:6) enabling him to succeed in his first act as king.
Things took a turn quite soon, however. Saul began to rest on human wisdom rather than God’s declarations, to reason away sin by deceiving himself, to fear people more than God, and to “fudge” on practicing complete obedience to God’s demands.
1Samuel 15:22-23 record the prophet Samuel’s words clarifying Saul’s sin:
“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.
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.”
What a sobering reminder of what God expects of his servants:
1. Obedience–so much more than religious activity that can often give us a false sense of spirituality.
2. Compliance–the opposite of rebellion and stubbornness, powerfully destructive fruits of the flesh.
3. Loyalty–the antidote to rejection.
I never want to live a life of regrets like Saul.
Lord, by your grace, help me to obey, comply and practice God-honoring loyalty to you.