Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our Disobedience Is A Heart Problem

God is not be pleased with leaders that are disobedient or full of pride.

1 Samuel 15:1 One day Samuel said to Saul, “It was the LORD who told me to anoint you as king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the LORD! 2 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. 3 Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”

4 So Saul mobilized his army at Telaim. There were 200,000 soldiers from Israel and 10,000 men from Judah. 5 Then Saul and his army went to a town of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley. 6 Saul sent this warning to the Kenites: “Move away from where the Amalekites live, or you will die with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites packed up and left.

7 Then Saul slaughtered the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, east of Egypt. 8 He captured Agag, the Amalekite king, but completely destroyed everyone else. 9 Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.

10 Then the LORD said to Samuel, 11 “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the LORD all night.

The story of Saul leaves me with a lot of questions that I would like to ask God someday. Surely God knew that Saul wasn’t going to do much of anything that he was asked to do but God still chose Saul to be Israel’s first king.

Saul was sent on a mission to execute God’s judgment on an evil nation, he was told to be through and eliminate all signs that these people ever existed, don’t even take any plunder.

Most cookie jars are noisy, I wonder why they make them that way, so when Samuel walks up he can hear the lid on the jar being moved and Saul is in trouble. Saul decided that partial obedience to God would suffice, what would it matter if their king was allowed to live and why not come home with some reward, don’t I deserve it for the work that I have done for you Lord. Poor Saul he thought that he was getting away with something but his noisy cookie jar had already given him away:

“I have carried out the LORD’s command!” “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.

Saul must have gulped as he heard these words and thought to himself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” so now he tries to turn his disobedience into a noble cause “we brought back all this stuff to sacrifice to the LORD” how can you argue with that? Are you buying that story? If Samuel hadn’t said anything I am pretty sure that those livestock would be in the pasture for a long time.

Samuel asked “Why haven’t you obeyed the LORD?” and just like our kids lie to us Saul replied “But I did obey the LORD!”

Not only was Saul disobedient to God, he was also suffering from overly inflated self esteem, right after the victory Saul set up a monument to himself. Pride was probably behind Saul’s motives to plunder the country instead of destroying everything, he was able to say “Look what I did.”

God is not be pleased with leaders that are disobedient or full of pride, he may still use them for a season just as he did with Saul, but he still took Saul out when his servant David was ready to take the throne.

We should take obedience very seriously, God told Saul that “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.” Disobedience is a big deal!

We have to protect our hearts selfishness, disobedience and pride can cause us to rebel against God and will take away our usefulness in God’s kingdom work.

Take my pride away Lord, my selfishness too, I want to be completely obedient to you.