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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Disobedience and Integrity

            Through the prophet Samuel, God directed King Saul to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites (I Sam. 15:3).  In disobedience, Saul, “. . .and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them . . .” (I Sam. 15:9).  Subsequently, Saul goes to Carmel and erects a monument to himself.  At his proclamation of “performing” the commandment of the Lord (I Sam. 15:13) Samuel’s sardonic reply is, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”  King Saul answered with self justification and passing the buck, in I Samuel 15:21, “But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”  So, the king of the nation of Israel is led by the people’s desire, and will not take responsibility for his own direct disobedience.  Any action a leader willingly and with knowledge allows in his/her realm of authority is counted to their discredit.  This rings of Adam’s excuse, “. . . The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (Gen. 3:12).  I wonder how different the world would be now if Adam had turned to Eve at her offering of the fruit and said, “No thanks, I will obey God.”  Again, the people are unable and unequipped to lead themselves.  Leaders must hearken only to God and forge straight ahead in His command.

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