1 Samuel 15

1 Samuel 15 (NLT)

Today I was reading in 1 Samuel, and God really put some verses on my heart. Basically the story so far in 1 Samuel 15 (verses 1-23) is that God led Saul to attack and destroy the Amalekites (every single person and animal). Saul took it upon himself to spare the life of the king and to save many of the best looking animals. Saul claimed that he was going to sacrifice the animals to God and that he followed God's commands, for the most part... the problem is that he made his own exceptions against God's will. I think this is easy to do, and I've found myself doing this many times before. When God commands something, I need to obey Him 100%. I can't make exceptions based on my own desires. This is a very dangerous display of pride, and it can be difficult to recognize. It's so easy to justify doing things I want, even if they go against what God wants... it's much harder to deny myself in order to obey God, but I know the payoff will be well worth it.

Samuel says in verses 22-23,
"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."

In reading further (verses 24-31), I'm seeing that Saul blamed the people for his disobedience to God. He said that he was afraid of them and did what they demanded. It's hard to do the right thing when you are surrounded by people who are doing the wrong thing. It's ultimately a product of fear (fear of not fitting in, fear of being rejected, possibly even fear of getting hurt or losing your life), but it's important to realize that if you lean on God, together you can conquer your fear. This is something I have yet to master, but I pray that I will choose God's way in the future when I am confronted with the choice between His way and my way (or other people's ways).

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