1 Samuel 15:23 Within God’s Will

1 Samuel 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

Today we continue studying the Word of God. I pray that the absence of these studies over the weekend did not keep you from the Word of God. I think I may not be able to do these studies over the weekends because of how busy the weekends are, with so much work and then church as well. It may change as the Lord allows, but just in case and until then, I may not be able to do them on the weekends.

Today’s verse, was honestly a bit difficult. As I prayed this morning that God would guide me, and help me because I didn’t know what in the world to do this study on (as I felt going along in the notebook as we used to, wasn’t what God wanted), this verse constantly showed up. I kept praying, and thought, “I can’t do the study on this! These studies are looking like a big chastening or something rough instead of edifying, Lord! I don’t want people to start thinking I’m just one big scolding or something!” But, this verse just wouldn’t leave, so I suppose we will look at this verse today.

Looking at today’s verse though, it does go along pretty well with what we’ve been talking about. Not just in remembering not to rebel against God, but also in making sure we seek God in everything instead of just seeking to do good. Remember, it was mentioned, that if we wind up focusing on the work we do, instead of on the one we do the work for—God—then we easily end up losing sight of the will of God, and we try to do “good” things when God wants us to do GREAT things . . . and end up doing those things outside of God’s Will, thus honestly being in rebellion against God.

Today’s verse, is another reminder of that . . . an important reminder to always seek God’s Will! Though don’t let it become an excuse to not do anything at all. Don’t say “Well, I’m not doing anything because I’m waiting for God to tell me what my calling is!” If you don’t know exactly what your calling is, and even if you do (your calling may be something later on down the road in your life, and therefore you must take steps to get to it first instead of immediately starting that thing: God needs to prepare you for it first), here is what you do: God is NOT against you offering your help in church. God is NOT against you sharing your faith with a friend or stranger who starts talking to you. He’s not against your reading the Bible to learn more, nor is He against praying! Do those things, and I can promise you God will move in your life, through your faithful obedience, and will show you what to do next, or will tell you to keep doing it!

Today’s subject though, is best seen and understood by reading the verse before today’s, along with today’s, and also the verse after. Let’s look at 1 Samuel 15:22-23 first: “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? 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. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

This is what took place after king Saul became scared of a battle and offered up a burnt sacrifice, even though the Lord did not want Saul to do that, but to wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifice to God! Saul figured he could offer the sacrifice and it’d be the same thing as if Samuel did, and God would be pleased because a sacrifice was made. However, Saul was not supposed to do that . . . he was supposed to wait. So, in doing something Saul felt was “good” to do, Saul disobeyed God and missed out on something GREAT that God wanted for him. That is the same thing as doing good works, without having God in the equation. Works without God equals death . . . works will not get us into heaven. However, if we seek the will of God first, and then carry out His Will through those “works” that GOD would have us do, then we are not only in good standing, but are in great obedience to God!

God is not so much looking at the things that He can do through us in this world, but rather He looks more at His Children’s obedience, to do them. He doesn’t pay more attention to what is being done, but rather to see whether we will actually obey Him when He tells us to do them (obeying HIM with what He tells us to do . . . this isn’t the belief that God will excuse this or that action if a person had “good motives,” No this is doing what GOD tells us to do)! It’s somewhat like how even Satan can appear to be an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), because he can appear to be doing “good things.” So if we only do “good things” but haven’t done them in the will of God, what difference are we from Satan in the form of that “angel of light?” The difference should be in our obedience to God, and our seeking His Will in every area of our lives!

Let’s now look at the next verse, verse 24, “And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Satan is a very tricky enemy. He will definitely use people to try to get us to sin against God, even in this type of situation of doing “good,” outside of God’s Will. Some very good examples I can give, are my own self in yesterday’s situation, and even this morning’s situation! Yesterday God put on my heart to say something to the youth class that I knew would not exactly be well-received. In fact I knew it would make some of them upset with me. However, I had to say and do what God wanted me to say and do, despite how I knew “the people” would feel about it. Instead of as Saul said, fearing the people and obeying their voice, I had to choose obedience to God.

Then, again, this morning with this study. I felt that “the people,” would think I was just being a big, legalistic “Work for God or else!” type of person if I kept doing these studies/devotionals on this subject, and that if I did it on today’s verse, it would make things worse and everyone would think I was calling them rebellious or something. (If you ARE being rebellious, then by all means yes this is calling you out, but I’m not the one doing it, GOD IS!) I know most of you aren’t like that, it’s just the thoughts that came against me. However, God wanted me to do this on this topic and verse, so I have to obey God instead of being afraid of what people might think, or doing what people want me to do.

People may want us to do something that we know God told us not to do. In situations like that, we need to stand strong with the will of God and not do it. Some people may be trying to get you to do something because they know God wants them to do it, but they don’t want to do it. So they will think if they can get someone else to do it, it will be all the same to God. But it’s not the same to God, because they are in disobedience to God. And to obey God, is better than the actual work, or sacrifice.

We have to remember to ALWAYS seek God’s Face and God’s Will in all that we do! If we don’t, or if we start to focus on the actual work that we do for God instead of God whom we do if FOR, then we can very easily move outside of the will of God and right into being disobedient to God! These are truths we must never forget, especially as we move out and start working and doing what God would have us do!

I love you dearly with godly, brotherly love, and pray for all of you! May God Bless and guide you in all you do, and in all you do may you Bless God! Let’s never forget, or get distracted or turned away from seeking God’s Will and face. Let us also never use those excuses mentioned earlier, to not do anything at all! Have a wonderful day today and I will see you tomorrow!

Love always in Christ,
Your friend forever,
And brother,

Psalm 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”