“Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?”
The evidence came in the form of sound – the bleating of sheep. Samuel had received a message from the Lord that the Israelites were to attack the Amalekites for their atrocities against Israel during the exodus from Egypt. Saul was to even destroy all livestock. But there they were: sheep and cattle, right in front of Samuel.
Samuel confronted Saul and asked why he had disobeyed the Lord. Saul responded that he had, in fact, done what he was instructed. He explained that the men brought the best of the livestock back to give an offering to the Lord. Samuel saw through the subterfuge and persisted in this confrontation, and eventually Saul admitted to Samuel that he had been afraid of the men and out of fear allowed them to bring the livestock back.
Saul’s fear of the wrong person, and his consequent disobedience, cost him the kingdom.
Speaking through Samuel, the Lord described disobedience as the same thing as divination, wickedness, and idolatry. Disobedience is allowing some thing or some one other than God to occupy the throne of one’s life. What God is seeking is men and women who will obey Him and His instructions, so that His kingdom rather than our agenda may move forward. Obedience to God is one of the foundations of leadership. God entrusts leadership to those whose hearts are in tune with His.
Lord, May our hearts be fully in tune with Yours today and each day, so that Your kingdom may grow through our witness and example. Amen.