Snapshots: Day 200
The Snapshot: “Why did you not obey the Lord?” (1 Sam 15:19) We mentioned obedience recently as one of the ingredients that makes a spiritual person. Saul was not such a person. There is little or nothing in him – or seen in the records about him – that indicates a heart after God. He became a charismatic as we’ll see later, but that was a sovereign God act, not the response of a heart-after-God man. He is given a task by God and only half does what he’s told: partial obedience = disobedience. But now he’s a leader and leadership of God’s people requires a heart after God and that includes complete obedience. He has just disqualified himself and that is tragic as we’ll see. Let’s check ourselves to see we are obedient to God.
Further Consideration: Sometimes some of the lessons of scripture are so simple and straight forward that we take them for granted, forget them, or even ignore them. Consider obedience which is compliance with a command. Why does God have to give a command? Because He is dealing with a fallen human race who have a propensity for getting it wrong and therefore who need constant correcting.
Take that most famous verse in 2 Tim 3:16 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Observe those first three activities: Teaching = imparting information to remove ignorance. We all need teaching because sin has blinded us to the truth and we need to have it put before us again and again. Rebuking = telling off, challenging over error or wrongdoing. Sin is the propensity to be self-centred and godless which results in wrongdoing. We constantly need challenging over that and God does it to save us from self-destruction. Correcting = putting right by showing the right way. Although we surrendered our lives, we can get into this Christian life only with the knowledge of how we get it wrong and so we need showing the different way to live. That is why the New Testament is so full of instructions that are contrary to the way we used to live before we came to Christ.
Now here’s the obvious things about all of this, unless we let the Bible (and the Holy Spirit) teach us, rebuke us and correct us, it will not be able to train us in righteous living. Many of us get away with it by ignorance – we don’t know what the Scriptures say, but the Law showed that God does not accept that as an excuse, because the truth is that His Spirit will be prompting us all the time to take on board these three activities. Failure to go along with them is disobedience. Put it the other way round, God expects us to obey what His word says. Will we get to heaven and find the Lord with tears running down His face saying, “Why did you not obey? You missed so much that could have been yours.”