Summary: God requires obedience. God is gracious in giving specific instructions through prayer and His Word. Exact execution of God’s instructions is of utmost importance.

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God Requires Obedience

By Greg Johnson

April 29, 2007

God requires obedience. God is gracious in giving specific instructions through prayer and His Word. Exact execution of God’s instructions is of utmost importance.


Samuel was a prophet of God and a type of Christ in the Old Testament. God spoke His Word through Samuel and gave specific instructions to Saul who had been appointed king of Israel. The instructions were simple but yet very specific. Samuel told Saul (1 Samuel 10:8 NIV) "Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do." The specific instructions given to Saul included where to go and what to do when He got there. He was to go to Gilgal and wait seven days for Samuel to come and perform the sacrifices. Further instructions would be given when Saul obeyed these instructions.

Obedience requires waiting on God. Waiting is the fruit of trust and it is where the follower of Christ renews their strength. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Those that wait on the Lord will inherit the earth with Christ. (Psalms 37:9 KJV) "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth."

The next step of obedience required will be revealed when what is already known is obeyed. It is our human nature to want to know the whole picture before we step out, but there is no faith in that and it takes faith to please God. (Hebrews 11:6 NIV) "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Direction is revealed a step at a time. We are to act on what we know and wait for the rest to come.


In 1 Samuel chapter 13 we read that when Saul got to Gilgal, a massive Philistine army was assembled to fight Israel. Saul waited in Gilgal for the seven days required and all his men were in fear. Instead of waiting for Samuel to arrive and offer the sacrifices, Saul offered the sacrifices himself. After Saul finished, Samuel arrived. (1 Samuel 13:11-12 NIV) "What have you done?" asked Samuel. Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, {12} I thought, ’Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."

I want you to notice what made Saul disobey God’s specific instructions. Saul said “I saw” – he focused on what he saw. His men were scattering, Samuel had not arrived, and he was facing a great army. Saul said “I thought” – he allowed human reasoning to overtake faith. Saul said “I felt compelled” – he felt like he had to make something happen.

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