Topic: What God Wants
Text: 1 Samuel 15:1-23
Key Verse: “Tell me,” Samuel said. “Does the Lord want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. – 1 Samuel 15:22 CEV
What God wants is revealed in his words spoken by the prophets and the law, but in these last days, he has spoken clearly to us through his son Jesus Christ.
Long ago, in many ways and at many times, God’s prophets spoke his message to our ancestors. But now, at last, God sent his son to bring his message to us. God created the universe by his son, and everything will someday belong to the son. – Hebrews 1:1-2 CEV
What God wants, he always communicates to the believer through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Do you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, do you discern the will of God for you?
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. – John 14:26
King Saul lived in an era when God revealed what he wanted exclusively to the priests; Samuel received the word of the Lord and delivered it to Saul accurately.
God granted them victory over the Amalekites and expected them to destroy every person, animal, and property. Saul chose to partially obey the Lord and spare the king Agag and the animals’ choice.
In his heart, he believed he had done justice to the assignment and was on his way to building a monument for himself to celebrate his victory. He did not know that God had already passed Judgement was on his disobedience.
And Saul said unto Samuel; I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. – 1 Samuel 15:24
The lack of fear of God is one reason behind partial obedience. Covetousness, fear of man, and pride can also lead to partial obedience to God.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10
We must never take the instructions of God lightly; we must be attentive to note every detail and receive grace to obey completely what the Lord wants.
Today, God does not require us to kill any man, but the Amalekites had earned his judgment because of their wickedness towards the Israelites at their time of great need.
How do you treat the poor, weak, and needy around you? Who has the Lord commanded you to serve, bless or support? Do not delay, obey promptly, and don’t try to cut corners because our God is all-knowing.
Disobedience will always hurt you, not just physically but spiritually; Adam and Eve lost the garden and the glory of God, Saul lost the throne and the legacy of kingship that would have remained for his descendants.
What was the value of the fruit Adam and Eve tasted in the garden compared to the dominion and authority God had given them, which they lost?
What was the worth of the valuable animals Saul and his soldiers refused to kill compared to the throne he lost?
Saul and his army let Agag live, and they also spared the best sheep and cattle. They didn’t want to destroy anything of value, so they only killed the animals that were worthless or weak. – 1 Samuel 15:9 CEV
To live intentionally is to develop a value system that puts God’s Word first on your priority list. When you want to obey God, make it total, partial obedience is as bad as disobedience.
Father, forgive us for every act of partial obedience in our lives; what you want is not hidden; it is contained in the scriptures; help us obey you entirely in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Teach us, Father, to obey you in everything, even when we do not understand why; help us to trust you enough to follow you fully in Jesus’ name, amen.
Photo by Kurt Liebhaeuser on Unsplash