Our obedience to God should be motivated by love, reverential fear and faith.
TEXT: 1 Samuel 15:1-23
The word obedient means dutifully complying with the commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority. Obedience is the act or practice of being obedient.
Everyone is pleased when he/she gives instructions and they are timely carried out properly. Every parent desires that their children comply with this directives and such compliance is acknowledged appreciated, and sometimes attracts reward, which acts of disobedience are discountenanced and most times attract punishment. When parents instruct children on what to do, they are not happy when they only obey a portion of the commands. Parents expect their children to obey all that we tell them.
So also, God Almighty, whose image and likeness we are, demands absolute obedience from us. Our obedience to God should not be a forced one but should be spontaneously offered. For every obedience, God is pleased and we are rewarded; and there is also a deep feeling satisfaction in the inner man that we have pleased God despite all odds. It is in our best interest to obey God. God wants us keep his commands , while reminding us that obeying His commands is reasonable and beneficial at all times.
Obedience involves not mere knowledge, but the practical demonstration of our submission to God and other authorities. It should proceed from the heart (Romans 6:17). There is no substitute for obedience. God does not owe us any explanation or reason for everything He asks us to do. You do not need to understand the command before you obey. Obedience to God teaches us that you will never understand some of His commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding. Apostle Peter emphasized our obligation to obey God rather than men (Acts 4:19), 5:29).
This study will emphasize the importance of obedience and consequences of disobedience.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand what obedience is.
- Know what King Saul was asked to do, whether he obeyed God and the lessons for King Saul’s experience.
- Mention some specific areas that God demands obedience from man.
- Identify other authorities we are to obey and discuss how we are to demonstrate obedience to them.
- Know the consequences of disobedience, and appreciate the benefits of obedience.
Q1. WHAT IS OBEDIENCE? Luke 12:42-43; Matthew 21:28-31; 7:21.
Obedience literally means ding what one is told to do by and person. To be obedient is to dutifully comply with commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority while obedience is the act or practice of being obedient.
Scripturally, obedience means total submission to God’s authority and command. Our obedience to God should be not be forced but should be willingly and spontaneously offered. The above scriptures are on servants’ obedience to their master and the attendant blessedness for obedience. We are servants and God is our Master, we are to obey Him, whether it is convenient or not.
Obedience is also based on knowledge because you can only obey instructions you know that are given to you. Even Christ lead an example for us to follow as he showed obedience to God by His submission to His will (Philippians 2:8; Matthew 26:39).
Our obedience to God should be motivated by love, reverential fear and faith. See Joshua 22:5, Hebrew 11:7-8. There is nothing like half/ partial obedience; it is either we are obeying all we are not. Obedience to God entails being teachable, responding promptly to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, having a conscience that is easily pricked by the Holy Spirit and it also involves putting god first to please Him (Genesis 39:9; Daniel 3:16-18); obedience is yielding to God’s authority, accepting the word of God to do it.
Q2A. WHAT WAS KING SAUL ASKED TO DO; DID HE OBEY GOD? 1 Samuel 15:1-3
(Compare his action in verses 7-9 with his report in verses 13-15)
Saul was specifically instructed to destroy the Amalekites, man, woman, infant, even the suckling, and animals in versus 7-9. Saul did not utterly carry out the instruction which means he disobeyed by his partial obedience. However, in verses 13-15, he tried to justify his disobedience without remorse and was rebuked.
Q2B. WHAT LESSONS SO WE LEARN FROM KING SAUL’S EXPERIENCE?
Like King Saul, most Christians prefer to obey God only when it is convenient. They seek to please their insatiable pleasure rather than please God.
Obedience to God is not imputed, it is rather a determination to dearly obey Him and please God as we trust Him for the grace to do so, even when it appears difficult and our strength seems to fail.
Saul lost the throne because of momentary pleasure and his half obedience; we as believers must be careful not to be robbed of our blessings here on earth and eternity with Christ because of disobedience to God.
Obedience is never too little are great, as none is small; a single act of disobedience by Saul was his own ruin. We must learn from this as people have greatly suffered from a single act of disobedience. At all times, obedience is it better, as we are the ones that benefits from it; its rewards are enormous for our own good and enjoyment.
Q3A. ARE THERE EXAMPLES OF OBEDIENCE IN THE BIBLE?
The Lord commanded Abraham to leave his country to an unknown foreign land and he obeyed (Hebrew 11:8). He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God (Romans 4:20). Many years later, God asked Abraham to offer up his only son on the altar. Again, Abraham obeyed, knowing that the Lord was able to raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrew 11:19). Such acts of obedience were counted to Abraham for righteousness (Genesis 15:6); Romans 4:3; James 2:23).
Jesus perfectly demonstrated a life of obedience. “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He is the Son, yet He learned obedience by the thing which he suffered; and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him (Hebrew 5:9; 1 Peter 1:9)
Q3B. MENTION SOME SPECIFIC AREAS THAT GOD DEMANDS OBEDIENCE FROM MAN. Acts 17:30; Mark 16:15; 2 Timothy 4:2; Luke 12:42-43; Luke 12:42-43; 1 Corinthians 4:2, John 13:34-35; 1 Peter 1:16.
In obedience to God, the first thing He demands from us is repentance from our evil ways and turning to Him who alone is the Bishop of our soul. Acts 17:30. We a commander to obey the voice of God (Exodus 19:15; Jeremiah 7:23) and keep His Commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
In Mark 16:15 and 1 Timothy 4:2 Believe have been asked to going to the world and preach the gospel. Evangelism therefore is a call the believers must obey. This call is for every believer not only for a selected few like ministers and pastors. Beyond preaching to unbelievers to enable them hear the word to get saved, we are also admonished to reprove i.e. correct, rebuke and encourage even brethren.
Faithfulness is required from us by God. God does not reward any service but only faithful services; being faithful in the Lord’s vineyard is an act of obedience.
Practicing the godly kind of love, genuine brotherly love, with no strings attached both to those in the household of faith and the society at large is an act of obedience to God. The Bible clearly admonished believers to be holy as God is holy 1 Peter 1:16. Holiness is not imputed on anyone at salvation; rather it is achieved by determination to do the will of God, as the Christian seeks to please God daily. Conscious effort must be made to be holy as we trust God for grace to daily become truly Christ-like.
Q3C. FROM THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST HOW CAN WE SUBMIT TO GOD’S WILL? Psalm 40:8; Matthew 26:39; John 4:34, 5:30.
We must delight, take pleasure in obeying God. We should see every act of obedience to God as a privilege to serve and be loyal to God and not a burden that is being placed on us. The Lord Jesus saw doing the will of God as meat. We must rejoice and do God’s work pleasurably.
It is true that obedience sometimes is not easy, especially when you are in a fix, and an ungodly easy way out of the tight condition is brandished at you. Obedience is to choose to do the will of God and refuse to compromise our faith. In such times, we must go to God in prayers and ask for grace and help to go through the particular challenge. The Lord Jesus did that when he needed God’s help to enable Him go to the cross.
Q4. FROM THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES, WHAT ARE THE AUTHORITIES WE ARE TO OBEY? (Ephesians 6:1, 6:5-7; Colossians 3:20, 3:22; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Philippians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; Hebrew 13:7).
Children are admonished to obey their parents while servants are demanded to obey their master in sincerity void of hypocrisy. We are to obey rulers and every form of authority i.e. Anyone who is placed at the position of leadership over us, be it at work place, church, family, community, general society, etc.
Peter insist that our obedience to dully, constituted authorities is for the Lord’s sake. It is very important that we obey these authorities, since doing that we are obeying God (Romans 13:1-2). Such obedience must be void of hypocrisy, whether the authority is there or not. The class should mention and discuss others.
Q5A. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF DISOBEDIENCE? (LUKE 12:47; PSALM 66:18; DEUTERONOMY 11:28, 28:15-68; 1 SAMUEL 15:22-23; 1 PETER 4:17-18; 1 THESSALONIANS 1:8).
The dangers of disobedience are very weighty; all disobedience shall not go unpunished.
A very grievous consequence is that of unanswered prayers. Anyone living in disobedience stands the chance of not having his prayers answered by God Psalm 66:18.
Acts of disobedience leads to rejection of man by God. Such a person also gradually backslides and return to his/her vomit.
Disobedience always attracts punishment, be it disobedience to constituted authorities of God. The wrath of God is upon the children of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6) and if the words that was spoken by angels and were disobeyed attracted punishment, God has promised to recompense every disobedience (Hebrew 2:2). Eternal death is the worst thing that can happen to anyone; the end result of all acts of un-repented disobedience is eternal death.
Q5B. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF OBEDIENCE? (MATTHEW 7:21; 1 SAMUEL 15:23)
There are numerous blessings attached to obedience; these are enjoyed here on earth and hereafter. The benefits of obedience include acceptance and commendation by God, peace, joy, inner satisfaction that you have obeyed God, good health, blessings and above all eternal life with God. It is in our best interest to obey God. God wants us to keep His commands and obeying Him is not beyond our reach. Obeying them is reasonable, and very beneficial.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
Good loves to guide and use us in many ways. The only way He can continue to give us His guidance and blessing is when we obey Him on a daily basis. Obedience to God is a major thing lacking in our present-day church, families and society in general. We all must go back and be determined to obey God in the circumstance. For us to be exalted, and to delight the heart of God, we most walk in obedience, because to obey is better than sacrifice.
1 Samuel 15:22b
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken then the fat of rams”