Saul was given a very direct message from God and that was to destroy the Amalekites and everything they owned! God had given the Israelites the victory in battle and Saul knew he should obey. But what harm was there in keeping the king alive and some of the sheep? Or so he thought!!! Saul knew he had done wrong or he would not have lied to Samuel when asked if he had done as God commanded.
Yes, it was a harsh judgement but our Omnipotent, Omniscient God knew what would happen if sin was allowed to remain in the land. He knew the Israelites would marry with the people of the other lands and He knew the foreign gods would draw the Israelites away, no matter how often God had forgiven them and saved them in the past! But Saul, did exactly what God knew he would and even lied about it! What a sad thing for God to say, that he regretted ever making Saul king. How awful would it be to have God regret something He did for us or asked us to do?
Today, we have many things creeping into our lives and fellowships, which are contrary to what God has commanded in His Word. So what do we do? It would be easier to go along with things, to let them slide, keep the peace and the untiy. We don’t have to join them after all, just tolerate them! As we have seen in recent days, when the thin edge of the wedge is allowed in, it is not long before the whole plank is in the door and then we have to live with the consequences. read more

There are practices being accepted in our churches and societies today, which are not only forbidden in the Bible, but our forefathers warned us was allowing sin to remain in the church. Now, in recent times, we have thrown the doors wide opened for sinful habits to walk over us and there is little we can do to stop the influence it will have on future generations. Like the Israelites of old, we will have to bear the consequences of not rooting sin out of our midst for many years to come. Those who do take a deliberate stand against sin are seen as being narrow-minded, bigoted or intolerant. How God’s heart must be grieved! Does He regret ever allowing the institution we call church to come into being? If this is not what God condemned in the Bible, then He will have to apologize to those residents of the late Sodom and Gomorrah?
What about in our personal lives? When God points sin out to us, do we avoid it or walk on the sidelines, close enough to enjoy and hope not to fall in! Do we root out the things we know to be wrong from our lives, ‘avoiding all appearance of evil,’ or do we think it can’t harm us. Switching off a lewd movie, separating ourselves from friends who openly mock Jesus, discontinuing attendance at a church that blatantly disobey God’s Word, are all ways to keep ourselves from evil. Bringing more friends who love Gods standards into our lives, filling our hearts with more of what we know He would have us do and an increase in Bible study and prayer for those who we know need it, are all ways to bring us closer to the Lord and more willing to put His standards first.
How different could the lives of the Israelites have been if Saul had obeyed? Likewise for us. ‘Obedience is better than sacrifice’ in the eyes of God. He wants total obedience, not partial! If He tells you to get out of a relationship/friendship, He doesn’t want you just to explain the Gospel to that person or even try to win them, but to get out of it completely. Saul did go to war with the Amalekites, He did win! He did kill many people including women and kids, but he just kept Agag alive. He did kill many animals including many sheep, he just kept some alive. He partially obeyed, but knew it was not enough. Then He had to lie to make it all look good! The thin edge of sin was now becoming a greater wedge. That day, it was decided that God could no longer trust Saul with the task and from then on Samuel withdrew himself from Saul.
With certainty, it would be the very worst thing for a believer if God should decide we could no longer be trusted with the task He has given us, due to our own disobedience. How often we fail and yet praise God He forgives and continues to use us. Read again the story in 1Samuel 15 and remember afresh, how much more God wants our obedience than anything else we can do for Him. Not only that the major benefit of complete obedience is definitely that He already has the perfect plan worked out for us and by obeying Him, we will follow the plan explicitly, know Him more fully and love Him more dearly.

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