Summary: Anything short of absolute obedience to God is disobedience. Saul’s life points out the seriousness of disobedience and the nature of obedience
Someone has said that obedience is the practical acceptance of the authority and will of God. It includes both submitting to Him and then expressing that submission in actions, words and thoughts. Anything short of absolute obedience to God is disobedience. Saul’s life points out the seriousness of disobedience and the nature of obedience.
I. Sin of Disobedience
A. Disobedience is like the sin of witchcraft (It is an Act)
1. Disobedience is a voluntary act of rebellion to the authority and will of God.
2. Verse 23 – “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…”
3. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.”
4. Disobedience like witchcraft is an open challenge or resistance to the authority of God.
5. 1 Samuel 15:13-15 “Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD. But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
6. Saul’s response to Samuel’s question reveals Saul’s heart of rebellion. Note that he refers to the Lord as the Lord your God.
7. Witchcraft or “divination is seeking to know what to do in a way that ignores the word and counsel of God. And that is exactly what disobedience is based on. God says one thing, and we say, I think that I will consult another source of wisdom -- namely, what? MYSELF!” – John Piper
B. Disobedience is iniquity (It is more than an act it is an attitude)
1. Verse 23 – “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity...”
2. Iniquity signifies not merely that which is wrong, but the tendency to do wrong. Iniquities are second nature sins, which drive us to repeatedly, continually commit sin. A perversion of the truth, which leads to error. A perversion of intents, which affects our will. Sin and Transgression are Verbs and things we do: Iniquity is the bent condition of what we are. – Copied
3. The condition of Saul’s heart is seen in his continuation of rebellion to the and authority of God in seeking advice from the witch at Endor.
4. 1 Samuel 28:7-8 “Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.”
5. Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”
C. Disobedience is idolatry
1. Verse 23 – “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
2. In his rebellious disobedience Saul ignored God and made himself his own god.
3. When God says one thing and we consult the little wizard of our own wisdom and then stubbornly choose to go our own way we are idolaters. We have not only chosen to consult ourselves as an alternative to God, and thus become guilty of divination, but we go beyond that and actually esteem the direction of our own mind over God’s direction and become guilty of idolatry
4. 1 Samuel 15:12 “So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal."
5. Disobedience is idolatry because I worship myself above the worship of God.
II. Nature of Obedience
A. Obedience must be intentional
1. Saul chose not to obey.
2. God does not force us into obedience. He allows us to obey. Our choice will determine our character.