August 27, 2021
Read: 1 Samuel 15
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (vs. 22-23).
King Saul was told to utterly destroy the city of Amalek and spare nothing. But he disobeyed God and spared King Agag and the finest animals. The interview that followed between disobedient King Saul and the prophet Samuel shows us what God thinks about rebellion: “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (vs. 22-23).
The contrast between the command King Saul received and what he actually did is significant. What is rebellion? It is man ignoring the clearly defined will of God and instead following his own earthly plan.
Rebellion is not simply a weakness or a fault. It is virtually setting up a counter-authority. A great sin of our day is the idea that, “No one can tell me what to do; I will be the master of my own life and destiny.”
Most people are probably not disputing God’s authority in direct rebellion by saying, “Yes, Lord, I know you want me to do this, but you know it’s too hard for me. Surely you can find an easier road for me.” Often, people prefer to simply remain unrepentant of their sins and not commit themselves to Christ. They would rather indulge in sinful desires than submit to the lordship of Christ in their lives. There is no visible, violent rebellion, but when looked at carefully, they have set up their own will as more important than the will of God.
All rebellion leads to degrading and debasing the truth of God’s Word. Sin has a way of reasoning itself into the heart of man, enslaving its victims to the point of perverse and twisted thinking. As the darkness of rebellion deepens, moral thought becomes corrupt and foolish.
Let’s stop before it is too late! Let’s not compromise the truth of God’s Word. The commands that Christ has given us in the Sermon on the Mount are just as precise and emphatic as the commands King Saul received. Simply obeying God is better than all our excuses, rationalizations, and preferences.
Obey God, and you will never be accused of rebellion. In I Samuel 31, we see that King Saul eventually committed suicide. Death is always the end of rebellion.