Obedience pays off!
1 Samuel 15:22-25 (MSG)
Then Samuel said, Do you think all God wants are sacrifices— empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to God’s command, he says No to your kingship.
Saul gave in and confessed, “I’ve sinned. I’ve trampled roughshod over God’s Word and your instructions. I cared more about pleasing the people. I let them tell me what to do. Oh, absolve me of my sin! Take my hand and lead me to the altar so I can worship God!”
But Samuel refused: “No, I can’t come alongside you in this. You rejected God’s command. Now God has rejected you as king over Israel.”
Don’t you just feel gutted for Saul here? His blatant disobedience has cost him his place as king.
What a lesson for us all. We can be so caught up in how we are perceived, what people think of us and it is all a form of pride.
Pride is one of our greatest enemies, one that can even take out a king. God has called you to be a king, a leader and a ruler in your area of influence but as easily as he called you, he can just as easily get someone else to fulfil your dreams if you do not obey.
Samuel’s words propel the reader to listen to God, do what He tells us and to keep this as our focus. Failing to do this, he says is worse than witchcraft or communing with the dead. A harsh reality, right?
Although Saul is repentant, it’s too late. His people-pleasing and pride leads to his downfall. Don’t let that be your fate. Follow God’s promptings.