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Saul Rejected, David Anointed

(1 Samuel 16:1-7,11-13)

Lesson 6 -- fourth quarter 2000
October 8, 2000

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

God cares about the details!
Does rebellion always lead to rejection?

The boss asked her to clean out the dog kennel. He also specified that the extra stuff should be put in the loft of the storage shed. The young lady dutifully took care to get the kennel cleaned out. And she got the extras put in the shed, though not in the loft. She was too tired and hot for that; she'd get to it some other day. She reported her task accomplished and her boss thanked and commended her generously. Alas, when the boss saw the extra stuff didn't get put in the loft as he had clearly specified, he "went ballistic." After a receiving thorough chewing-out, the young lady mused, "Why couldn't he be thankful for what I did do?!"

Since we are not the young lady, we can easily see why the boss got upset with her. We have no problem seeing through the young lady's faulty logic as expressed in her musing. We know that incomplete obedience rarely satisfies those in authority. And we even figure that had the roles been reversed, the young lady would have been just as upset. But I wonder if we can achieve such perception and understanding in our own Christian living.

Do we ever dare think that God doesn't care about the details and the "minors" of His will for us? And have we ever deceived ourselves into thinking we have obeyed completely and fully even though we haven't done all the details? If we have, then we do well to remember that Saul did also.

God clearly commanded Saul, "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all" (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul did only some of that: "But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best...and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them" (verse 9). Then Saul dared greet Samuel with "Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD" (verse 13). But Samuel already knew God's perspective on Saul's "obedience": "It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments" (1 Samuel 15:11).

My friend, God does indeed care about the details. If He didn't, He wouldn't include them! So, please, please, take God at His Word...all of it. Do not indulge in the folly of Saul who thought he could choose to leave portions of God's will undone and still have it count as performing the commandment of the Lord.

He was a likeable person who made friends easily. But he also lost friends easily. He just couldn't figure out why most people eventually became uncomfortable when he was around. The ongoing pattern of quick acceptance and eventual rejection hurt him deeply. He felt he didn't have any true friends. And he couldn't see that the trouble sprouted from his own heart. Despite many attractive personality traits, he suffered a huge character flaw: he had a rebel heart.

Rebellion leads to rejection. This is most true in our relationship with God, of course, but it also holds true in many human relationships as well. To my knowledge, only two types of people like and befriend rebels: other rebels and non-rebels who have a heart to try to help rebels. All other people eventually reject those that they perceive as rebels.

If you do not wish to be rejected as Saul was, then keep close guard over your heart. Do not allow it to become a rebel heart!

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