Lessons of Obedience
The Scripture sets forth some great lessons of obedience, something the modern person avoids, and those of this nation testify. The maverick Australian is “laid back” when it comes to obeying superiors. Christendom no longer calls the Scripture authoritative, or indeed the Canon – which means measure. Without a Standard, by which all measures are compared, chaos reigns – we only need look at the newspaper or web newscasts so observe this fact. In doing so, each person creates a standard that please him or her, and does what is right in his or her own eyes – which is sin at its greatest.
King Saul failed to obey the Lord and the kingdom was taken from him. Samuel the prophet informs King Saul: “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 heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22). In the name of social conscience the Western world attempts to do good, in the same way Saul did. Saul had led an army to deal with an enemy that had terrorised the Israelites, wearing them down. The Amalekites harassed the Israelites sending raiding parties to pillage the villages and towns and God had finally called upon Saul to deal with them – to utterly destroy them and all that they had. (This was just – God gave them 500 years to repent, but not one did). But rather than destroying the livestock, Saul took them and gave the excuse of being in possession of tainted plunder because he wanted to sacrifice to the Lord. Reading between the lines this was a lie – Saul and the people wanted to enrich themselves with the plunder which the Lord had marked for total destruction. Lacking faith in God for his provisions, he takes from an evil enemy, disobeying God, although God had blessed Saul beyond anything he could imagine.
In the name of social justice the church disobeys God, giving the excuse that justice is more importance than obedience when in fact justice only comes from obedience. Failing to faithfully do what pleases God, sexual immorality is embraced rather condemned. Position and place has become more important than humbleness; church leaders desire to at the important tables, speaking from important and visible podiums, rather than invisibly helping the poor, providing for the fatherless and "keeping oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27).
The antithesis of Saul is David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah. David knows that God does not want sacrifice and offering but desires obedience, that is, he desires to do the will of Jehovah (YEWAH). Of Jesus it is written: "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. Then I said, 'behold, I have come-in the volume of the book it is written of me- to do your will, O God.'" (Hebrews 10:5-7). The Messiah came to fulfil the law, but it was his obedience that pleased the Father: the heart of the one that wishes to please the Father is that crys aloud: "behold, I have come to do your will, O God." (Hebrews 10:9a).
Saul’s actions stemmed from lack of faith – the people wanted the plunder, Saul failed to obey God and sanction the people. Obedience takes courage; the world laughs at obedience to God and can become angry, indeed, violent, as happened at Sodom. The perverted men wanted to rape Lot’s guests (two men) and resorted to violence in their attempt to have them. In this case God intervened. In this decade standing fast on sexual immorality, euthanasia, abortion and the roles and responsibilities of men and women in a family takes courage and may lead to violence against us. But as David could say, and what we need to learn; Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalms 56:3