Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
More for the men. Saul was the first king of Israel. Samuel was the prophet of the day; a great Godly man. In Samuel Chapter 15 we read where Samuel comes, at the command of the Lord, to anoint Saul as king, and to give him his first order of business – kill all the Amalekites. Even their animals. All the cattle, all the sheep, and all the donkeys. Saul has a bigger better idea, and after routing the enemy, he kills every weak, blemished, sickly animal, but takes the best as spoil. All seems right with the universe, until Soul runs into God’s man, Samuel. He nervously begins to babel: “Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord” vs 13. This was a half truth at best, to which Samuel replies: “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
We read things like this and think laughingly that God caught Saul with his hand in the cookie jar, and it’s no big deal. We see it (or do it) every day. But what was God’s reaction? To say He was angry is an understatement. Saul tries to appease God by saying he intended to use the animals for a sacrifice to Him. God’s reply is staggering in vs 22-23. God asks: “Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry, Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” Let’s turn the Spiritual Switch. We walk around Spiritually impotent, wondering why we don’t see the miracles in our lives, that we read about, or see in others. It’s because we are trying to follow God while operating in the worlds standards. We only half obey God. Application? Here is an example you wont like. God says to tithe. A tenth. A tenth is His already. (Actually, it’s all His, but He demands a tenth). But we say: “I’m a little short right now. I’ll skip this pay day and catch up next time, or when my ship comes in, or when I win the lottery”. We rationalize that if God wanted us to tithe, He would give us more money? Truth. If you are not faithful with little, why would God give you more? I hear the sheep bleating, and the oxen lowing. This is true in all areas of our lives. God doesn’t want your money, He wants your obedience. Are you obeying God - or are you trusting in offerings and sacrifices?