23 May ESOCS Devotional
TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 15:17-35
MEMORY VERSE: “….which does the Lord prefer; obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him.” 1 Samuel 15:22 GV
In our text today, we read of King Saul’s model of following his God. He followed God with his own understanding and did not take care to listen and obey Him; he was full of excuses and tried to make defenses for wrongdoing. As we can see, this is a sinful way to follow God. To be sincere means to be free from pretense or deceit. One’s actions proceed from genuine feelings. The heart in its biblical meaning is the ruling center of the whole person, the spring of all desires; the seat of the will, intellect and feelings. Thus, our inner desire for God must be devoid of pretense and deceit, but genuine.
It does not matter how we feel about ourselves: whether inferior or superior. But one thing is clear: the calling of God and the gift of the Holy Spirit is one thing that has made us important before God. We must have this understanding in our relationship with God. In verse 17 of our text, Samuel said to Saul:“… Even though you consider yourself of no importance, you are the leader of the tribes of Israel. The LORD anointed you king over Israel.”
By the anointing of the Holy Spirit, each one of us is empowered to do one or two things in the service of God. Each task has its own expectation. In all, we must pay attention to what the word of God says about what we have to do. In our text, Samuel reminded Saul in verse 18 thus: “and he sent you out with orders to destroy those wicked people of Amalek. He told you to fight until you killed them all. Why then did you not obey him? Why did you rush to grab the loot, and so do what displeases the LORD?”
When we realize that we have not worked according to the dictates of the word of God, the best approach will be to confess our errors and ask for mercy. God is pleased when we make excuses, or try to make defenses. Such attitudes are foolishness in His sight. This was the fault of Saul. In verses 20 and 21, we read of his excuses and defense: “I did obey the LORD’s…. I went out as he told me to, brought back King Agag and killed all the Amalekites. But my men did not kill the best sheep and cattle… they brought them here…. to offer as sacrifices to the LORD your God.”
We must understand that God is no respecter of persons. Let us not be deceived by the position, rank, or authority that we occupy. If you are highly placed, know that you are expected to show a high level of compliance with the will of God. God does not tolerate evil and an unrepentant heart. (See verses 22-35 of our text). In verse 23, we read thus, “Rebellion against him is as bad as witchcraft and arrogance is as sinful as idolatry. Because you rejected the LORD’s command, he has rejected you as king” (See also Psalm 51:16, 17).
CHALLENGES: How do you feel when a preacher teaches against your bad habit?
PRAYER POINT: Lord, please give me a humble spirit and a sincere heart, in Jesus name! Amen.
FURTHER READING: 1 Samuel 14:1-24; 15: 17-35 Revelation 15:1-8; 16:1-14