Reading this chapter and this account of Saul’s life a very simple thought came to me. Obedience is just that… obedience. There is no equivocation. There is no changing or altering for any reason. Obedience means that I obey what God says and I don’t get to alter or change what God has directed.
I know I will sin, I am not perfect and cannot be perfect, which is why I need Jesus as my Savior. However, what I must not do is to pretend that I am being obedient when I am not. To dupe myself is to block myself from God’s great gift of forgiveness because I alter the facts to make it sound like I am obeying when I am not.
Possibly the saddest lines of the chapter was Saul’s response to Samuel, “The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD’s instructions.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest” (13-15).
It sounds like Saul really believed he had obeyed. But he had not. Samuel’s instructions were quite clear…destroy everything.
The Lord’s Word to me today is a warning for me to be honest with myself before the Lord. So my heart is crying out to the Lord to give me strength to be honest, really and truly honest, with myself and with the Lord.
Lord, I would rather seek Your forgiveness for having sinned that to dupe myself into believing I am obedient when I am not. Saul had many issues, but at the root may have been his lack of a relationship with You coupled with his ability to fool himself. Oh, God, save me from those sins… I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.