Don’t Give Consolation Prizes

Message : In 1 Samuel15 Saul was given specific instructions to destroy the Amalekites for how they had treated Israel
when they came out of Egypt. God was very specific in what he told Saul to do and he wanted him to spare nothing and take nothing as spoil. Saul destroyed the Amalekites but he took King Agag captive instead of killing him. His troops took the best of all the cattle and spoils in the land but instead of telling them to destroy it all he said nothing. Samuel came to see Saul, but he was off making himself a tribute. When Samuel asked Paul if he had done what he was commanded Saul was dishonest and said that he had. When Samuel asked why he was hearing the sounds of livestock Saul changed his story and told him that he took the best of everything to give as a burnt offering and sacrifice to the Lord. He maintained his lie a few more times until he finally confessed that he was afraid of the people and chose not to appease the rather than to obey God. This is the moment that Saul lost the favor of God. As I thought about this I really felt conflicted at first because Saul had done most of what he was commanded. I wondered if it was a misunderstanding until I saw that he lied to cover his disobedience and then finally confessed that he caved because of his desire to gain the approval of his people. I thought about what that might look like in my own life. What areas have I been afraid to fully obey for fear of what friends, family and acquaintances might think. Samuel told Saul that his obedience was much more importance than a sacrifice and I wondered what “sacrifices” I had tried to offer in place of my obedience. This calls for hard examination and honesty. In order to stop lying to God Ialso have to stop lying to myself and stop offering God consolation prizes or “peace offerings” in place of my obedience.

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