Obedience Brings Blessings

Published June 22nd, 2018 by Ccwestside

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, 

And to heed than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,

And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”  2 Sam 15:22-23

In this portion of scripture, 2 Samuel 15, the Lord commanded Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites.  The Amalekites were a wicked people that through the worship of their gods, they would offer up their babies as a sacrifice.  So the command was to wipe them out so that they don’t contaminate God’s people through this type of worship.  Do not spare them.  As you read on, you see that Saul does destroy the Amalekites… but he took King Agag alive and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good.  

The Lord sees everything.

He wants our full obedience.

Hebrews 4:13 “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

The more you read on, you’ll see that the word of the Lord came to Samuel that Saul did not perform the command of the Lord.  He comes to confront Saul and Saul blames the disobedience on the people.  “They have brought back the sheep…they have spared the best of the sheep… but with the intent of sacrificing them to the Lord!  Sin makes you stupid- and here as King, as the leader, he is blaming the disobedience on the people wrapped in the excuse that they were going to use the animals to sacrifice to the Lord.  This is where the verse above comes in and Samuel, inspired by the Lord, says such a powerful word that we all need to let sink in. 

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, 

and to heed than the fat of the rams.”

Why is it better?  Because God knows best.  He sees the full picture.  He knew that the Amalekites were a wicked people that could be a harm to the people of Israel.  Later on, an Amalekite would take credit for Saul’s death.  During the time of Esther, a man named Haman, a descendant of Agag, would come dangerously close to wiping out the Jewish people.  Had Saul fully obeyed, they would not have reaped these consequences. 

I remember about a year ago, the Lord asked me to fully obey Him.  After a year of homeschooling, we were contemplating putting our children back in school.  The Lord was so patient with me as I wrestled through so many doubts and fears.  Everything in my earthly wisdom made sense to put them back in…but I had no peace.  I knew by putting them back in I was being disobedient.  And it was verses like these that ministered to my heart so much.  Obeying is better.  Even if I couldn’t fully understand and see the whole picture…God does.  He knows what’s best for me and my family and He would never tell me to do something if it wasn’t for my good.  Just the other day I was reflecting on our school year.  It hasn’t been all daisies and rainbows.  This year has been a refining process for me and my children but I could cry right now thinking of all the blessings He has poured out because of the step of faith we took.

So my encouragement to you today is to obey the Lord in whatever He is asking of you.  Is He asking you to surrender something?  Do it.  Let go of whatever it is that holding you back.  The beautiful thing about Jesus is that He doesn’t ask us to surrender and then leave us hanging.  What He gives in return is far better than that thing we are clinging on to.  

I love what Amy Carmichael says about living a life of obedience..

“I do not think anything worth having in the spiritual world is easily attained.  There is no short-cut to holiness.  But there can be a true, humble, loving choice of the soul, and that choice, becoming a habit, will lead into peace.”

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