17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15)
Saul doesn’t get it. He just doesn’t get it. He had already been disciplined for not obeying the Lord’s directions and here he was again: not obeying and clueless about it!
Not even thinking Saul did what he thought was best – not believing that what the Lord says is always best.
And it was only when he was stopped and questioned was the truth of his actions understood:
Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned.I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.
I’m a teacher. I give directions. I explain what I want. I model what I want. I rewrite the directions on the board. And then, I wait for questions. And I give time for questions to form. As the saying goes: “The only ‘dumb’ question is the one not asked.” And when the time comes, and they’re ‘on their own’ and questions arise – I point them to the board, for them to read and remember and follow with an unheld hand.
And with ALL that… I expect my directions to be followed. And with ALL that I will still go to each raised hand. I don’t think that following directions is beyond the realm of their ability. Yet sometimes I very much think it is beyond their level of concern. “WhatEver… (eye roll)” I can hear them say, until they have to do it again and recess is taken away.
Abraham questioned God and showed God’s forbearance. (Gen. 18: 23-32)
Gideon too, questioned hard, and questioned real and proved the Lord doesn’t mind sincere, quaking questions. (Judges 6)
Paul questioned God, until he knew the answer he wasn’t hoping for, was the one he’s have to live with. (2 Cor 12:7-10)
When God gives us his word and we do our own thing – whether for good reasons or not – we are effectively murmuring, “Whatever.”
God’s Word is Jesus. Signed. Sealed and Delivered. -written by the Spirit of Truth in the ink of His blood.
God’s word is not to be “whatever-ed.”
Lord, forgive me for my many eyerolls. Bottom line: your word is true. Your directions are clear. I will follow hard and know – in my heart of hearts – that I can raise my hand for help.