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Partial Obedience = Rebellion

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Partial Obedience = Rebellion

Text: 1 Samuel 15:1-23

Thesis: To stress that one must follow God according to God’s terms and conditions.


(1)   Today, too many people approach God on their own terms and conditions.

(2)   However, God has always demanded that people approach Him on His terms and conditions.

(3)   Let us note an example of this truth in the life of Saul:


I.                   The Command (vv. 1-3)

A.    God, through Samuel, commanded Saul and the Israelites to wage war against the Amalekites.

1.      The Amalekites were descendants of Esau and were perpetual enemies of the Jews.

a.       They had attacked the Jews shortly after the Jews had left Egypt.

b.      Therefore, God declared war against them (Exod. 17:8-16).

c.       Further, Balaam prophesied about their ultimate defeat (Num. 24:20).

2.      God told Saul to destroy everything and everyone.

B.     Today, God stills gives commands and often defines how people are to carry out the various commands.

II.                The Choice (vv. 4-9)

A.    Saul gathered an army and attacked the Amalekites; however, he disregarded some of the Lord’s instructions and spared King Agag and the best of the flock and goods.

B.     Actually, Saul had a history of disrespecting God’s will. 

1.      In 1 Samuel 13:7b.-14, Saul took matters into his own hands and offered a sacrifice when he was waiting at Gilgal for Samuel. 

2.      As a result of that, Saul lost any chance of having a dynasty.

C.     Today, many people still obey parts of God’s commands, but disregard some items that they judge to be unimportant.

III.             The Consequence (vv. 10-23)

A.    God sent Samuel to convey to Saul that he would replaced as king.

B.     Saul attempted to make excuses and place the blame on others; however, as king, he was responsible and would have to answer for his actions.

C.     Samuel then restated God’s wishes and compared Saul’s actions to rebellion, because “to know God’s will and deliberately disobey it is to put ourselves above God and therefore become our own God” (Wiersbe 246).


(1)   “Serving God acceptably involves doing the will of God in the right way, at the right time, and for the right motive” (Wiersbe 245).

(2)   Will you follow God today according to His terms and conditions?

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