We want our pets to be obedient.
We want our children to be obedient.
But we, ourselves, are seldom obedient!
We have been reading 1 Samuel and specifically the downfall of Saul as the first human king of Israel. Saul became pompous and disobeyed God’s command, resulting in God taking the kingdom away from Saul and, ultimately, giving it to David.
Here is what Samuel said to Saul:
And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.”1 Samuel 15:22-23
Talk about speaking truth to power! That was the unenviable job of the prophets, telling the people and those in power when they were in violation of their covenant with the Lord, prophesying about the coming judgment for their disobedience, and then giving them hope for the future if they repented of their sins.
For Saul, the Lord rejected him as king because Saul rejected the word of the Lord.
The words of Samuel have something to say even to 21st century folk. Do we listen to the Lord? Do we obey what we hear?
I remember when I was young my mother would say that the words she spoke to me went in one ear and out the other!
Is that what we do with the message from God? Do we let it go in one ear and not take root but just slip out the other ear without any change in our mind, heart or actions?
If we don’t pay attention to God’s words, Samuel says it is rebellion and presumption. Notice, presumption is “as iniquity and idolatry”. Why is this true? Because when we presume that we know best, we are setting ourselves up as our own idol. We say that we don’t need God … we know what is best for us and we will do it.
Anything that takes the place of God in our heart, mind and soul is an idol, and God will not tolerate it.
We read in Exodus 34:14:
(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)Exodus 34:14
The sin of idolatry is a direct affront to God and He will not be put aside. He will not be numbered among the various gods that you worship … He must be supreme because He is the only real God of heaven and earth. All other “gods” are the invention of mankind, made of wood or stone, unable to breathe or hear or speak. In contrast, God has made all things, even us. He will not be mocked.
Beloved, read the Word of God and take it to heart. Think about it, meditate on it and let it sink into your heart, mind and soul. Don’t reject it as old school, out of date or irrelevant … it is as relevant to our 21st century world as it was 4000 years ago.
Don’t become your own idol. You are finite, you are not in control, you will ultimately die. At that time, you will face God and He will judge you. Oh, Beloved, trust in the Lord Jesus for your salvation. Repent of your sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior. You won’t be perfect, far from it; but in Christ Jesus you will have an advocate with the Father and you will be clothed in Christ’s righteousness.
Blessings to you. I pray that you will not reject the words of Christ Jesus but that you will read the Bible, even the Old Testament because even there you will find words to live by and guidance for your life as it points forward to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Father, I pray that Your words in scripture would be soothing to readers and that they would enlighten the heard and mind of those who come to You in faith. Bless the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart that they might be pleasing to You.