To some people, godly obedience is a small matter in their daily lives, as if it really was unimportant or too insignificant to ponder for any degree of time. Even when faced with clear and unambiguous commands and instruction from God, some find excuses and human reasoning for not obeying. Let us look at a few examples of disobedience and how they impacted individuals, and more importantly, how God viewed them. In 1 Samuel 15:3, Saul was given very specific instructions regarding the attack on Amalek: “… utterly destroy ALL that they have, and do not spare them.” They were to kill all the animals, women, infants and the men. In other words, NONE were to be spared.
Now let us look at what happened. As recorded in 1 Samuel 15:7-9, Saul spared Agag the king and the best of the animals. This was a clear violation of the instructions given by God. What was God’s reaction? Verse 11 reports God’s words: “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” God was regretting having set up Saul as king because of his disobedience. We get a little more understanding about this by what Samuel says about God’s mind, in verses 22-23: “Has 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 heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. [Notice the consequences of his blatant disobedience in the latter part of this verse:] Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has rejected you from being king.”
This was a high price to pay for disobedience, for using human reasoning around a clear command. This world has been doing the same thing since the dawn of man — using human reasoning as an excuse not to obey clear commands from God.
Take the Sabbath, for example. The command is clear — it is from God — yet mankind uses human reasoning, such as, “Yes, we should set a day aside for worship, so we will use Sunday.” The problem with this line of reasoning is that God did not give us the prerogative of choice which day to hallow. Man has only the prerogative of obedience. Is it any wonder our nations are cursed? The importance of obedience is clearly demonstrated and unequivocally stated in Acts 5:32: “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom [better: which] God has given to those who OBEY HIM.” God is not going to give His Spirit to those who blatantly disobey, be it in regard to the Sabbath, clean and unclean meats, tithing or any other clear and unambiguous command or instruction.
As we go about living our Christian lives, let us remember the importance of obedience and how imperative it is in God’s mind to reflect on the words of Christ in Luke 16:10: “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much…”
Let us not apply human reasoning as Saul did and was rejected by God — but rather, let’s be willing to obey ALL that we have been commanded to do. Then, instead of being rejected, we can look forward to the glorious words of Christ: “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23).