1 Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
What makes disobedience so very costly is the fact that it is costly to everyone. Imagine what would have happened at the Red Sea had Moses disobeyed the Lord. Everyone would have suffered. Or consider Elijah failing to obey at Carmel. All Israel would have paid a price for the disobedience of one man. You see, it was by the sin of one man that all came under the curse. By the same token, it was the obedience of One (Christ), that caused redemption to be made available to every person.
So far, I have written to you of the three kinds of Biblical obedience.
- Positional Obedience – you obey God because He is God, and you’re not. It is expected of you. This is the “blade” level of obedience.
- Experiential Obedience – you obey God because you have built trust through your experience of the outcome of obedience. You give it joyfully. This is the “ear” level of obedience.
- Visionary Obedience – you obey God enthusiastically because you can see the outcome from the outset of obedience. You lavish obedience on Him. This is the “full corn in the ear” level of obedience.
But be reminded once again of the cost of disobedience. Take a few moments to read our Manna for Today. In 1 Samuel, King Saul’s disobedience cost him his kingdom. God had given clear orders through Samuel, and King Saul had failed to complete them. His motive doesn’t matter. What matters is that he disobeyed. Your disobedience, or mine, may not seem so costly, but costly it is, nonetheless. The Scriptures tell us that when I am blessed, you are blessed. The Lord said, “Blessing, I will bless thee.” If, therefore, I disobey the Lord, not only is it costly to me, but all who would be blessed when I am blessed fail to receive the connected blessing. I can tell you, my friend, that there are times when that connected blessing is exorbitant indeed.
Consider the rich young ruler who came to Jesus. He had kept the commandments from his youth up. That is one of the reasons he was rich. But he lacked one thing. Jesus told him to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and then come and follow Him. The young man went away sad, for he had great possessions. Look at what He lost. Jesus said he would have gained a one-hundred fold return. That is a 10,000 per cent return. How many more multitudes could he have blessed with such a return, and then himself be even more abundantly blessed? Once again, what makes disobedience so costly is that fact that it is costly to everyone. “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Manna for Today – 1 Samuel 15:1-35; John 14:15-17; 1 John 5:3; Mark 4:26-29; Hebrews 11:19