Monday, May 19, 2008

Obeying the Call

I noticed something in my devotional reading this morning. Check this out from 1Sa 22:19 --

1 Samuel 22:19 ESV
(19) And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the sword.

If you've read Samuel you know that Saul got into trouble because he previously did not obey God's command to eradicate a city:

1 Samuel 15:14-29 ESV
(14) And Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?"
(15) Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the LORD your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction."
(16) Then Samuel said to Saul, "Stop! I will tell you what the LORD said to me this night." And he said to him, "Speak."
(17) And Samuel said, "Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel.
(18) And the LORD sent you on a mission and said, 'Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.'
(19) Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?"
(20) And Saul said to Samuel, "I have obeyed the voice of the LORD. I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction.
(21) But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal."
(22) 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.
(23) 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."
(24) Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
(25) Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may worship the LORD."
(26) And Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel."
(27) As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore.
(28) And Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.
(29) And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret."

I find it somewhat fascinating that Saul was willing to kill everyone in his own wrath, but was not willing to do it when God commanded it. I think about how this applies to my life. I'm pretty thorough about things that I want to do. Am I so thorough when I am doing what God calls me to do? How serious am I about obedience?

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