By Pastor Alex Ruelo
Back when Samuel was old, he appointed his sons to lead Israel but his sons did not follow his ways. They accepted bribes and perverted justice and so the elders told Samuel to give Israel a king that will lead them all. Samuel prayed unto God and He said that it is not Samuel whom Israel has rejected but the Lord whom they have been rejecting since the day He brought them out of Egypt. God told Samuel to warn Israel that the king that will reign over them will claim everything as his rights. Despite this, Israel still insisted on having a king. And so Samuel anointed a man named Saul, God himself chose Saul. It has been said that there is no one like Saul among all the people. As a child, some of us thought that King Saul is a bad king all along. But he started off as a man chosen by God himself. As time goes by, King Saul become full of himself, he became jealous and disobedient to the Lord. God instructed King Saul to kill all Amalekites along with its animals. But King Saul spared the life of the king of Amalekites as well as its animals. He thought that the Lord would be pleased if he sacrificed those to Him. Samuel said to King Saul that the Lord is more pleased with obedience than sacrifices.
Just like the great King Saul, us people, when we experienced power and privilege can become the very person God doesn’t want us to be. We can be proud of ourselves and do things on our own. We can come short on obeying God while thinking we are doing more for Him. Here are some ideas about why King Saul fail and fall:
1. Sin gives birth to another sin – People tend to make excuses when caught. From our committed sin, we give birth to another sin that makes the situation worse. Just like when Samuel knew that the king and animals’ life were spared, Saul began to tell lies. Trying to redeem himself, he told Samuel that it would be given to the Lord as an offering.
2. 99.9% of Obedience is Disobedience – Always remember that obeying God requires your full trust. You cannot bargain with God, obedience to the Lord cannot be chopped into percentages. It is to obey or disobey.
3. All who exalt themselves will be humbled – As sinners, we hardly avoid blaming other people for our mistakes. We try our hardest to appear blameless putting other people down. But the truth is those who exalt themselves shall face God’s judgment and will be humbled.
4. We cannot fool God – When God tells you to do something, you obey. You cannot offer him something better than full obedience to Him. For God, it is more important that we obey than to offer him worthless things in exchange.
Remember: No sacrifice or offering can compare to a heart that loves the Lord, obeys the Lord and trusts the Lord — it is our best gift to God.