1) 4-3-11...AM…SBC 2)
“Obedience is the Very Best Way”
Intro: 1 Samuel 15
In this section Israel’s first king was given the high privilege of fulfilling a prophecy made in the days of Moses, that of annihilating the Amalekites (cf.
Exod 17:14–16; Num 24:20).
2. With this special opportunity came special responsibility, and sadly Saul proved unwilling to carry it out faithfully.
3. In one of the most distressing passages in the Former Prophets, the Lord here deposes Saul from his position as the royal shepherd of the Lord’s people.
4. Through Saul’s lack of leadership, you and I get a great reminder on the importance of obedience.
*Proposition*: We cannot worship The One we do not obey.
Transition: We witness negatively from the life of Saul this morning that (AP) *obedience requires…*
*1) **Listening v1-3*
A- We begin with a reference to the events of 9:15–10:1.
B- Samuel brings before him his official station as the Lord’s vicegerent, and the obligation under which he was laid to act in that capacity.
 (Lord of the Rings – Denethor is a steward of the Kingdom acting as if He was King)
C- He had formerly done wrong, for which a severe rebuke and threatening were administered to him (1Sa 13).
D- Now an opportunity was afforded him of retrieving that error by an exact obedience to the divine command.
E- Listening here means more than simply recognizing reverberation going on in the ear drum
· illustration: Trucks driving past the apt and then Wagner’s House – you hear and feel but can’t do anything
F- It involves obedience to the words spoken.
So it may be translated “pay careful attention to” or “obey”
1- James 1:22-25
2- It is not sufficient, however, to receive the Word; one must respond to it in active obedience.
3- “The growing numbers of sermon-sippers who flit from one doctrinal dessert to another like helpless hummingbirds are deceiving themselves.”
4- We must listen with intent to act—is that how you sit down to read the S.—hear a sermon—participate in SS
5- To be obedient we must hear and be ready to adjust our life accordingly.
*V3: Two ways*: take an object to the temple and priest bless and set it apart for godly purposes only
* *Destroy it so it could not be used in any other way ever again
*Either* you are devoting something or being bedevoted – Achan didn’t devote so he go devoted
*Leviticus 18* description of the people in the land – incredibly wicked
*Canaanite* people had over 400 years to repent – Noah’s son Ham was cursed – Canaan was Ham’s son
*They were doing all this in the name of worship – to be uncontaminated by pagan worship*
*God devoted them to destruction because of their wickedness *
*The* overriding concern in /all/ such episodes was God’s demand for holiness, obedience and purity of worship.
*We* do the same thing - when Sadam Hussein was tried and executed people rejoiced because justice was served
*We* perform this type devotion when think the same way
Transition: Next we see that *obedience also requires*…
*2) **Endurance v4-9*
A- Poised for an attach on the major Amalekite settlement we are told that Saul warns another nomadic tribe called the Kenites to evacuate and not be mistaken for Amalakites
B- The Kenites get a free pass because of their cooperation with Israel at the time of the Exodus—not recorded in S.
C- (*v7*) Ishmaelite territory—Arabia to Egypt—possible b~/c of 210,000 troops
D- This massive, sweeping attack was successful, and since no prisoners were to be taken, “all” Amalekites who were caught were “totally destroyed with the sword” (v.
8)—all, that is, except Agag, the Amalekite king (v.
E- So significant was Saul’s action to the writer that he recounted it twice, using two different verbs to describe the same event;
· This narrative technique is used occasionally elsewhere in Hebrew to mark “peak” or climactic actional moments within a story.
F- Through Samuel, Saul was given explicit orders.
He carried them out in part, but saw no harm in disregarding the rest of them.
(ill- demanding obedience from your kids but then not loving and growing in oneness to wife)
*Application*: God is not seeking part time obedience from those he called to be full time disciples
1- There are to be no summer vacations, sabbaticals or leave of absences from our crusade for obedience
2- Endurance in obedience is not being satisfied with spiritual accomplishments
3- Endurance in obedience is constantly performing self-examination to see what needs to be worked on next
4- Saul’s obedience only went part of the way while true obedience strives to conform in all things.
1- the Lord revealed that the source of his grief was Saul’s failure to follow his instructions completely
2- The only other occasion in Scripture where the Lord stated that he was “grieved” (from /niḥam/) over peoples’ actions was when he observed the wickedness of humanity that led to the universal flood (Gen 6:7).
3- Saul’s partial obedience might have been acceptable to his contemporaries, but when weighed in the divine balances, it was found wanting.
4- Saul’s sins here destroyed his kingship, yet they also served as a springboard for the Lord’s selection of David, a man after God’s own heart.
*5- **Clearly both passages teach that God is aware of and responsive to choices made by people, reacting favorably only when people choose the option of obedience to the divine will.***
*6- *Nothing short of strict obedience to the Lord’s instructions was acceptable; anything less produced grief in heaven and pain and loss on earth.
Transition: We also see from Saul’s life that *obedience requires*…
*3) **Humility v12-21*
A- When *Saul* saw the fatness of the Amalekite *sheep and cattle* and when he considered the enhancement of his own glory and prestige in bringing back *Agag, king of* Amalek, as prisoner, he could not resist returning them as public exhibits of his leadership (v.
B- That this was Saul’s intent is clear from *v12*, which speaks of Saul’s erecting *a monument *to *his own honor*
C- Upon Samuel’s arrival immediately proceeded to brag about his obedience (lit.), “I have established Yahweh’s words.”
D- Saul’s boast of obedience was singularly unconvincing to Samuel since evidence to the contrary was “bleating” and “lowing” in their ears.
E- *v16—*confrontation by Samuel—blamed it on the people—*cf: v9*
F- Saul’s sin was the sin of Achan, who had also spared the choicest of /ḥerem/ plunder from destruction (cf.
Achan and his family died for his sin; Saul’s sin would bring him misery and death and would cause his family’s loss of kingship.
1- Jonathan Edwards called pride “the worst viper that is in the heart”
2- John Stott said pride is more than the first of the seven deadly sins; it is itself the essence of all sin.”
3- John Calvin said, “God cannot bear with seeing his glory appropriated by the creature in even the smallest degree, so intolerable to him is the sacrilegious arrogance of those who, by praising themselves, obscure his glory as far as they can
4- When you life a life of pride obedience becomes something that you demand is done to you instead of something that is you seek to do
5- Pride is what will trip you up on the path of obedience leading directly to a fall from spirituality Proverbs 16:18
Transition: Saul’s less than godly example also show us that *obedience requires…*
*4) **Heart v22-23*
A- In the most eloquent and memorable recorded quotation coming from Samuel’s lips, God’s judgment was pronounced against the king.
B- The Torah integrated sacrifice into the life of obedience to God; however, it never envisioned it as a substitute for obedience.
C- *v22-23* put in perspective the relative values of obedience to God and worship of God.
D- It is a frequent human error to think that God will overlook and forgive all one’s sins so long as one is careful to attend the shrine (or church) and offer sacrifices (or hymns of praise).
E- we tend to think false worship is the worst possible sin against God; Samuel said that arrogant disobedience was just as bad.
*Application*: Spiritual action without heart for God will never achieve the obedience God requires.
*5) **Fearing God v24*
1- V24 shows that he knew perfectly well what he was doing (and tells us the reason why he did so)
2- he told lies about it twice over (13, 20), pretending that he thought he had obeyed orders
3- the bottom line is that Saul feared people over God
*Application*: Fear of Man will always detour you away from obedience to God
Transition: Lastly, obedience requires…
*6) **Repentance v35-31*
A- I believe that what you see here is Paul sorry for being caught with his hand in the cookie jar
B- The rest of his life doesn’t exemplify repentance evidenced by changed heart and action
C- Jealously of David—attempts to murder David—kills the priests at Nob—
*Application*: We will never obey perfectly so repentance must be a repeated sacrament in our lives.