Today’s Scripture: 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.

The noise of victory pealed through the streets of Israel. Women rejoiced with tambourines and singing. King Saul had been victorious over Amalek, Israel’s bitter enemy for centuries. But all was not well. Though the Lord promised victory, King Saul flagrantly disobeyed His clear guidelines.

Let’s review King Saul’s God-given list of military objectives in 1 Samuel 15:3.

1. Go and smite Amalek.
2. Utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not.
3. Slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.

The bleating of sheep and the lowing of oxen could still be heard long after the battle was over. The Amalekite king, Agag, was kept alive. Saul’s partial obedience would cost him his kingdom.

Partial obedience is as much rebellion as blatant defiance is. It says to God, “I’m going to obey Your Word my way.” If we desire to please God, we must have the proper attitude toward His authority. We must see Him as the Supreme Authority. He is the Ultimate Judge before Whom we are all accountable. Nothing less than total obedience is acceptable.

We are guilty of the same offense when we submit partially to our parents, teachers, pastors or employers. If we think their demands are too difficult, inconvenient, or lowly, we give a half-hearted effort. Don’t be like Saul. Go the distance for the Lord today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder,  Jr.