When the Bullet Misses the Target, Part 2of2, Evans Olang

1Samuel 15:1-23, “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…”

In part one of this devotion, we looked at Saul, a man who fired the gun God gave him, but missed the target because he failed to complete his given task in its entirety. He did what he thought was best, hoping that God would be pleased with him. In the second part of this devotion, let’s see how Saul tried to cover up his shortcoming.

Vs. “13 Then Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandments of the Lord (1 Samuel 15:13).” Saul did not fear the Lord because he thought he could fool Samuel, the prophet who initially anointed him as King of Israel. There is a similar situation in the book of Acts where a couple told Peter that they had sold everything and given their earnings to the Lord, but in reality, they only presented part of it. Like Saul, they lied to the Holy Spirit, and completely missed the target. Their case was slightly different from Saul’s in that their failure to honor their vow to the Lord cost them their lives. No one asked or forced them to make the vow; they did it out of their own volition. As for Saul, his instructions were clear as day; therefore, his disobedience was inexcusable. His first lie was claiming to have accomplished all that God had commanded. Vs. “14 But Samuel said, “What is then is the bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear (1 Samuel 15:14).”As they usually say, “busted!” Saul had been caught in his lie. To cover his first lie, Saul went on to say that he destroyed everyone, except a few people and items he spared as sacrifice to the Lord. As Samuel confronted him even further, he insisted that he had fulfilled the Lord’s commandments. Later on, we discover that he had also spared king Agag, who he should have also destroyed.1John 1:8 says “”If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” This scripture sums up the whole nature of man as sinful, and no matter how much we try, we can never completely fulfill the Lord’s requirements. The Bible also says, “Our righteousness is as filthy rugs,” not just our sins. With this understanding, we know that in men’s eyes, even the best that we offer the Lord is not good enough because we are still sinful by nature. We have to openly approach God with all our failures, weaknesses, and the things we are holding on to we should have destroyed in the first place, and confess that we have sinned.

In Psalms 139:23-24, David says “Search me, O God and know my heart, Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there is any wicked way on me. And lead me in the way of everlasting.” David understood that what he didn’t consider sin could actually be sin in God’s eyes. What a way to come to the Lord and say “it doesn’t matter whether I feel holy today, search me and be the final Judge. I give you permission to perform surgery. Check what’sinsideof me, and if there be sin, cleanse me.”

Saul not only stood by his disobedient actions, he justified them, which ultimately brought about his downfall. Here is how he missed his target: 1Samuel 15:22 says “So Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” In Saul’s case, obedience was the target. Desiring to honor the Lord with sacrifices was notable, but disobeying what he had been clearly instructed to, and then attempting a cover-up was wrong (missed target). In vs. 23, Samuel defined his sin when he said “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” What a way to define disobedience. The children of Israel disobeyed God countless times, and so do we. The Bible says that stubbornness is as a spirit of witchcraft. To me, this shows that disobeying God, parents, and leaders is a terrible thing. It’s not about what we want and what we consider good, It is obeying what we’ve been asked to do, as long as it’s in line with God’s word. What you are asked to do may sound stupid, ridiculous, and you may even have a better way of going about it, but obedience is pivotal. If you mess up, covering your mistakes, or blaming others for them is not the way to go about things: coming to God and crying out to Him shows repentance. 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Aim for the target God has set before you. Fire your bullet towards the target, be faithful in everything you do, and keep your promises. Blessings Ev.

If You Have Been Blessed By This Post, Please Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: