Monday, September 8, 2008

Saul's Lesson - Religious Observance NOT Obedience

King Saul was Israel's first, chosen by God after Israel's leaders ask for a king. Having a king was alright with God, he had given instructions about such a man to Moses (Deut. 17:14). The problem was that Saul did not have the mentality (spirituality) that God required.
1 Samuel 15 records the "straw that broke the camel's back' between God and Saul. God told Saul to completely destroy the Amalakites (the end of a story begun several hundred years ago by God after the Amalakites "waylaid" Israel in their wilderness sojourn Cf. Exodus 17). Saul fought the Amalakites but spared Agag the king and the "best" of the livestock (1 Sam.15:9). Samuel ask Saul if he did as God commanded (destroy EVERYTHING) and Saul said "yes." Samuel ask "then what is the bleating of lambs(1 Sam.15:14) I hear?" Saul said - well we saved the best of the livestock in order to offer sacrifices (15:21) to God. God's response...1 Samuel 15:22 "Does the Lord delight in burnt much as obeying (his voice-flg)."
Saul thought religious observance was obedience! God wants an obedient heart, not observances. Observances are only effective if they are offered with faithful hearts. The point is that DOING good things is not necessarily a sign of faithfulness. God seeks hearts turned to HIM, not good acts. Good acts serve no purpose without a heart turned to God. More to come...Foree

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