Lord, I'm Being Obedient...Kind Of
I Samuel 15:1-3, 9, 13-23
1. In our story we find King Saul in disobedience to the Lord. God had sent Samuel, the prophet, to tell Saul that he was to destroy Israel's archenemies, the Amalekites.
a. You will remember that the Amalekites had attacked Israel as they were leaving Egypt, and God had sworn that He would one day avenge His people. This was the day!
2. Unfortunately, for Saul, he made some bad choices in the way he carried out this command. He chose to disobey the Lord by sparing the life of King Agag... no doubt; he wanted to showcase him as a prized war trophy.
a. Then he disobeyed in saving the best of the animals for himself: (vs.9a), "But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good."
3. What was Saul's response to Samuel in (vs.20a)? To paraphrase, He was saying, "Samuel, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord...kind of. I did what God commanded me to do...kind of."
a. "Samuel, I destroyed all the Amalekites and their animals...except for...well, except for the king and a couple of little insignificant sheep...and a few lambs...and some oxen." Samuel said, "I know, I can hear the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen" (vs.14).
4. Once Saul had made the decision not to obey, everything went downhill from that point. He began to shift blame, he attempted to cover things up; he even lied about wanting to save the best of the sheep so they could sacrifice unto the Lord (vs.15). Saul was in a big mess!
5. Here's what we have: Saul had carried out God's command in part, but not in full. He was obedient to the Lord...kind of...but not really. Someone once said, "Partial obedience is complete disobedience."
ILLUS: The life of King Saul reminds me of a poem written many years ago by John Newton.
Once on a time a paper kite
Was mounted to ...
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