“Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee  to be king over His people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (1Samuel 15:1&3)

            The bleating sheep on the slopes of Carmel brought a frown to Prophet Samuel’s brow. The movement of oxen and donkeys in the valley made his stomach turn. But when his eyes fell upon two men in the distance, walking and talking together like friends, that was the last straw! As he approached them, he remembered his earlier instruction to Saul. Samuel told Saul to strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he had, not sparing Amalek and put to death all people and animals. The words had been unmistakably clear and direct. King Saul was to carry out God’s plan. The Sovereign of Heaven had spoken and King Saul had to obey. But he disobeyed. That was what angered Samuel when he visited. “What is going on? Why do I hear and see these evidences of life? Where did you get the right to alter the command of God?” Instead of admitting his disobedience, Saul stammered and told three alternate routes.

First, Saul said, “I have carried out the command of the Lord.” (Verse 13) Second, he rationalized, “We spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord.”(Verse 15) Third, he said, “I did obey the voice of the Lord…but the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen …” (Verses 20 -21) Samuel was not impressed. He stared at King Saul and Agag and then rebuked the stubborn king. “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.” (I Samuel 15:22, 23). Finally Saul confessed, “I have sinned.”

The sands of time have covered over this ancient scene, but ours, bent to disobey is still present. Let us see Samuel’s rebuke once again.

                               To obey is better than all sorts of sacrificial activities.

                               To rebel is similar to involving yourself in demonism.

                             To disobey is no better than worshipping an idol.

Powerful words! Let us apply them in few details of life. Has the Lord clearly led you to do something and yet you are saying “No” or “Not now?” May be you are trying to bargain with Him, substituting something else in place of His direct advice like Saul. Wait no longer – Obey!

Is there within you a stubborn spirit that causes you to rebel, argue and fight back, even though you know it is against His leading? Perhaps you have bragged about your strong will or have cultivated the habit of resistance like Saul. Rebel no more – Obey!

Have you developed the deceitful technique of hiding your disobedience behind the human masks of lies or blame like Saul? Deceive no further – Obey! The very best proof of your love for your Lord is obedience… nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else.

Sir Leonard Wood once visited the king of France and the king was so pleased with him. He was invited for dinner the next day. Sir Leonard went to the place and the king meeting him in one of the halls said, “Why Sir Leonard, I did not expect to see you. How is it that you are here?” “Did not your majesty invite me to dine with you?”said the astonished guest. “Yes,”replied the King, “But you did not answer my invitation.” Then it was that Sir Leonard Wood uttered one of the choicest sentences of  his life, “A king’s invitation is never to be answered, but to be obeyed.”