Disobedience Resulted in Captivity
Obeying is better than saying, I’m sorry (1 Samuel 15:22)
“But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and laws I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:
You will be cursed in your towns and in the country.
You will be cursed with baskets empty of fruit, and with kneading bowls empty of bread.
You will be cursed with few children and barren fields.
You will be cursed with infertile herds and flocks.
You will be cursed wherever you go, both in coming and in going.
“The Lord himself will send against you curses, confusion, and disillusionment in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and forsaking me. The Lord will send diseases among you until none of you are left in the land you are about to enter and occupy. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew. These devastations will pursue you until you die. The skies above will be as unyielding as bronze, and the earth beneath will be as hard as iron. The Lord will turn your rain into sand and dust, and it will pour down from the sky until you are destroyed. “The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies. You will attack your enemies from one direction, but you will scatter from them in seven! You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your dead bodies will be food for the birds and wild animals, and no one will be there to chase them away. “The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, scurvy, and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The Lord will strike you with madness, blindness, and panic. You will grope around in broad daylight, just like a blind person groping in the darkness, and you will not succeed at anything you do. You will be oppressed and robbed continually, and no one will come to save you. “You will be engaged to a woman, but another man will ravish her. You will build a house, but someone else will live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will never enjoy its fruit. Your ox will be butchered before your eyes, but you won’t get a single bite of the meat. Your donkey will be driven away, never to be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will be there to help you. You will watch as your sons and daughters are taken away as slaves. Your heart will break as you long for them, but nothing you do will help. A foreign nation you have never heard about will eat the crops you worked so hard to grow. You will suffer under constant oppression and harsh treatment. You will go mad because of all the tragedy around you. The Lord will cover you from head to foot with incurable boils. “The Lord will exile you and the king you crowned to a nation unknown to you and your ancestors. Then in exile you will worship gods of wood and stone! You will become an object of horror, a proverb and a mockery among all the nations to which the Lord sends you. “You will plant much but harvest little, for locusts will eat your crops. You will plant vineyards and care for them, but you will not drink the wine or eat the grapes, for worms will destroy the vines. You will grow olive trees throughout your land, but you will never use the olive oil, for the trees will drop the fruit before it is ripe. You will have sons and daughters, but you will not keep them, for they will be led away into captivity. Warms of insects will destroy your trees and crops. The foreigners living among you will become stronger and stronger, while you become weaker and weaker. They will lend money to you, not you to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail!
My fear is that most of us will contend that these curses were prophetic and have come to pass. Yes, but we should remember that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, we should obey his words.
“If you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and to obey the commands and laws he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed. These horrors will serve as a sign and warning among you and your descendants forever. Because you have not served the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. They will oppress you harshly until you are destroyed. “The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like an eagle. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will starve to death. They will leave you no grain, new wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, bringing about your destruction. They will lay siege to your cities until all the fortified walls in your land—the walls you trusted to protect you—are knocked down. They will attack all the towns in the land the Lord your God has given you. The siege will be so severe that you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you. The most tenderhearted man among you will have no compassion for his own brother, his beloved wife, and his surviving children. He will refuse to give them a share of the flesh he is devouring—the flesh of one of his own children—because he has nothing else to eat during the siege that your enemy will inflict on all your towns. The most tender and delicate woman among you—so delicate she would not so much as touch her feet to the ground—will be cruel to the husband she loves and to her own son or daughter. She will hide from them the afterbirth and the new baby she has borne, so that she herself can secretly eat them. She will have nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns.
“If you refuse to obey all the terms of this law that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the Lord your God, then the Lord will overwhelm both you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick. He will bring against you all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and they will claim you. The Lord will bring against you every sickness and plague there is, even those not mentioned in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. Though you are as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the Lord your God.
“Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in helping you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you, until you disappear from the land you are about to enter and occupy. For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! There among those nations you will find no place of security and rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. Your lives will hang in doubt. You will live night and day in fear, with no reason to believe that you will see the morning light. In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were night!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ You will say this because of your terror at the awesome horrors you see around you. Then the Lord will send you back toEgypt in ships, a journey I promised you would never again make. There you will offer to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves, but no one will want to buy you.”
A Call to Love and Obedience
The Lord Rejects Saul
Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has again refused to obey me.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night. Early the next morning Samuel went to find Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal.” When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!”
“Then what is all the bleating of sheep and lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded. “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!”
“What was it?” Saul asked. And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do exactly what the Lord said not to do?”
“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep and cattle and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you from being king.”
Saul Pleads for Forgiveness
Then Saul finally admitted, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. Oh, please, forgive my sin now and go with me to worship the Lord.” But Samuel replied, “I will not return with you! Since you have rejected the Lord’s command, he has rejected you from being the king of Israel.” As Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed at him to try to hold him back and tore his robe. And Samuel said to him, “See? The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”
In the new testament, when Jesus was with the his disciples and others including certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees, while he was still talking to people, his mother and and his brethren stood without desiring to speak with him. Then, Someone said to Him, Listen! Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You. But He replied to the man who told Him, Who is My mother, and who are My brothers? And stretching out His hand toward (not only the twelve disciples but all) His adherents, He said, Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother!
Doing the will of God requires obedience .
Let this same attitude and purpose and (humble) mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: (Let Him be your example in humility:) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God (possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God), did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself (of all privileges and rightful dignity), so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself (still further) and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!
So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed. (Live) as children of obedience (to God); do not conform yourselves to the evil desires (that governed you) in your former ignorance (when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel).
For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with you all. Amen (so be it). Now to Him Who is able to strengthen you in the faith which is in accordance with my Gospel and the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ (the Messiah), according to the revelation (the unveiling) of the mystery of the plan of redemption which was kept in silence and secret for long ages, But is now disclosed and through the prophetic Scriptures is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, (to win them) to obedience to the faith, To (the) only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One)! Amen .