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It isn't really obeying at all

Doug Boock

Partial obedience isn't obedience at all. It's disobedience. And consequences result.

That's the sad lesson Saul learned when he disobeyed God. It cost Saul dearly, too.

God's direction to Saul (in 1 Samuel 15:3) was clear: wipe out the Amalekites and all they own. (The reason was the Amalekites had treacherously treated the Israelites).

But what did Saul do? He partially obeyed. 1 Samuel 15:9 says, "But Saul and the people spared Agag (the king) and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed."

Saul tried to deny that he didn't obey God, but God obviously knew better. Here's God's response, in 1 Samuel 15:22-23: “Has the LORD as much 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 divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.”

What God's seeking from His people is simple obedience. He'd rather us just do what He tells us to, instead of trying to make ourselves right before Him by doing other things we think might appease Him. All the religion and "good things" we might try to do - instead of just doing what He tells us to - doesn't mean much, if anything, to God. He likes obedience.

It's not that God doesn't love us when we disobey. But a child of God ought to want to obey the One he loves, just like a child wants to obey his parents simply because he loves them.

When we partially obey, it's really not obedience at all. It's disobedience. And there are consequences.

"Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." (John 14:23)