We shall consider 1 Samuel 15:22 today. In it, Prophet Samuel said: ‘’…Behold to obey is better than Sacrifice…’’.
This is a very relevant statement for today’s world where most things appears to have gone haywire. Form my personal observation and discussions with different people; I have come to the conclusion that our world is what it is today because a lot of people have made up their minds to jettison God’s instructions. For example, in Leviticus 19:18, he said: ‘’…you shall love your neighbor as yourself…’’. Supposing we adhere strictly to this instruction then, acts of terrorism, needless murder, worrisome antisocial behavior, damaging corrupt practices, disturbing poverty, excruciating hunger, unpardonable squalor and avoidable diseases, etc that are endemic in most parts of the world will not be as pervasive as they are at present.
What then is the way forward? We have to make up our minds about obeying God’s instructions without faltering. But to start with, let us consider the probable ways by which people may respond to God’s instructions. They may:
1. Disobey him completely. In Exodus 5:2, God instructed Pharaoh through Moses and Aaron to release the Israelites from bondage but he disobeyed completely. And for this reason, he and his people suffered untold hardship. At different times, their waters became blood and their land was inundated with frogs, then lice, flies, boils etc. In addition, they suffered massive loss of their livestock and each family lost its first born. As if these were not enough, the elites of the Egyptian army also perished in the red sea. It is evident from above, that acts of disobedience to God’s instructions are repulsive to him and they carry with them inescapable punishments. This is made obvious in Hebrews 2:1-3. It reads:
1. Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we heard, lest we drift away. 2. for if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3. How shall we escape…?
2. Obey him partially. In 1 Samuel Chapter 15, the Lord instructed King Saul to go to Amalek and destroy everything therein because its people disturbed the Israelites as they came up from Egypt. Initially, he responded enthusiastically but derailed later on by keeping for himself, some of the spoils of war which God specifically instructed him to destroy. Because be obeyed God partially, he lost his sons, anointing, throne, and life. We can infer from the calamities that befell Saul that God does not condone partial obedience of his instructions-you either obey him in full or you don’t at all. You are furthermore expected to make your stand crystal-clear whenever you are dealing with him otherwise; he will find it extremely difficult to put up with you. Jesus Christ supports this position in Revelation 3:15-16. Let us see what he said:
‘’I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. 16. So, because you are lukewarm-neither cold nor hot-I am able to spit you out of my mouth’’.
3. Obey him completely. In Exodus 20:5, God, while referring to earthly gods said: ‘’you shall not bow to them nor serve them…’’. Daniel obeyed this instruction completely when he had to. In Daniel Chapter 6, a plot was hatched by his detractors to depose him from his exalted position. They got King Darius, to sign a decree which forbids any man from praying to any god or man apart from himself for thirty days. They knew that Daniel would never obey the decree and that he would get into trouble subsequently. As expected, he didn’t obey it instead, he prayed and gave thanks to God openly and he was cast into the Lions’ den but guess what? The Lord shut the Lions’ mouths and spared his life. Now let us see the King’s ensuing reactions. First, he was astounded and he went on with his people, to openly acknowledge the supremacy of God. Next he destroyed Daniel’s detractors and their entire families by casting them into the same den of Lions whilst he prospered Daniel.
Friend, is the Lord instructing you lately to support his work with your clout, resources, time, expertise, ministry, etc? Or is he instructing you to help the needy members of your society? Is he instructing you to spend more time with him in prayer and in reading your bible? Does he want you to just stay calm in your present state and await his intervention? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then be prepared to obey him completely (this is the only sensible and rewarding option opened to you) and you can be sure that it shall be well with you (Jeremiah 7:23). Remember that ‘’if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land’’ (Isaiah 1:19). So shall it be in Jesus name. Amen.
Good news!!! This monthly bulletin is four (4) years old today. To God be the glory. Hallelujah!
Jesus is Lord!