So many times, we receive an express instruction from someone on how to do something or even how NOT to do something. But because we don’t entirely trust their judgment, we have our own little plan on the side, just in case. I do this too. If the initial promisor makes good his or her promise, it’s all good. If they don’t, ope o, I have an Option B. So far, I usually get away with it. No one gets hurt. In fact these days, I have broadened my horizon. I now even have Plans C, D, E and F sometimes. This might be fine with human situations but with God, mehn, you better not try it. Lemme explain…
In 1 Samuel 15, King Saul did just this. He had a Plan B even after God had expressly given him instructions on how to handle the Amelekites (God’s enemies). But Saul had a brighter plan (in his mind). God told him to destroy every single living thing in the land. Nothing was to be left behind. Let’s read God’s instruction directly from the Bible guys…
Verses 2 and 3:
Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
If you read that chapter, you would realise that Saul obeyed…but only partially. He attacked like he was told to do. He killed like he was told to do. However, he failed to totally obey. Verse 9 says: But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
He felt it was wasteful to destroy such lovely things. He was trying to help God. He was not 100% sure God knew what He was saying when He said ‘utterly destroy’. He decided to save the good things. He wanted to sacrifice them to God. In his mind, therefore, it was all for God’s glory anyways so what was the big deal really?
But it was a big deal to God. In fact, it was a very big deal…so big that God ‘repented’ of making Saul king. God regretted the day He chose Saul as king. Verse 11 says “I greatly regret that I have set up Saulas king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” God was so displeased that no matter how much Samuel begged and pleaded on Saul’s behalf, there was no changing of God’s mind.
Now this had me really really thinking and the summary of my musing is this: we must endeavour never to have Plan B with God. We must never live a life of partial obedience. We must totally surrender to God and total surrender entails total obedience. I also realised that ou never know that thing you will do that God might not relent on punishing you. David sinned but God still forgave Him and fought his battles for him. Saul was not so lucky. He was totally rejected and also, an evil spirit was sent to torment him (1 Samuel 16:14).
Whenever God tells us to take a certain step, don’t do it half way. If He says quit your job, don’t decide to go part time. If He says you should leave that relationship, don’t decide to ‘reduce’ your closeness with the fellow/girl. Leave totally. I just thought to share this with you all as we get to the middle of the week.
In the kingdom of God, partial is even worse than nothing at all. Revelations 3:15-16 says ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” That is exactly what befell Saul. God spued him out because his heart was not in the right place.
I pray God will give us the grace to lead a life of total obedience to His instructions in Jesus’ name…Amen. I know it is not always easy but the truth is this: His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness…
Have a lovely Wednesday!!!
That’s all people (for now)