- Worship only God.
- God prefers obedience to sacrifice.
- There are consequences for disobedience.
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,I Samuel 15:22 NLT
Has there ever been something that you really wanted until you got it. Maybe you begged or it or saved money for it. What happened when you got it? Did you use it or nor? Maybe you were a little disappointed with it. The Israelites were tired of their leaders. They wanted to have a king like the other countries. God heard their whining and agreed. Let’s see how it goes with their king.
Watch The First King.
Read 1 Samuel 8:1-9.
1 As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. 2 Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba. 3 But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.
4 Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. 5 “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”
6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. 7 “Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. 9 Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.”1 Samuel 8:1-9 NLT
- Who were the leaders of Israel?
- Why did they want a king?
- What were the people really doing when they wanted to be like everyone else and have a king?
Read Samuel 15:1-9.
15 One day Samuel said to Saul, “It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord! 2 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. 3 Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”
4 So Saul mobilized his army at Telaim. There were 200,000 soldiers from Israel and 10,000 men from Judah. 5 Then Saul and his army went to a town of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley. 6 Saul sent this warning to the Kenites: “Move away from where the Amalekites live, or you will die with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites packed up and left.
7 Then Saul slaughtered the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, east of Egypt. 8 He captured Agag, the Amalekite king, but completely destroyed everyone else. 9 Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.1 Samuel 15:1-9 NLT
- What did God command Saul and his army as they fought the Amalekites?
- What did Saul do?
- Did Saul Obey God?
- Even though Saul defeated the Amalekites He didn’t do exactly as God told him too. Instead he did things his way. If know what we are supposed to do and we only do part of what we have been asked, is that obedience?
Read 1 Samuel 15:10-15.
10 Then the Lord said to Samuel, 11 “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night.
12 Early the next morning Samuel went to find Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal.”
13 When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!”
14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.
15 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.”1 Samuel 15:10-15 NLT
- Was God pleased with King Saul’s offering?
- Why not?
17 And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:1 Samuel 15:17-22 NLT
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.
God was more interested in Saul’s obedience than in his gifts. God looks at our attitudes and thoughts and not just what we do for him. It is important to come to church but is more important to be willing to listen to and obey God. We cannot give God enough gifts to make up for our disobedience. Instead, He gave us a gift—His Son, Jesus, who died on the cross for our disobedience. Will you follow Him in obedience today?
Growing in Grace – Dee