Take a moment to read it:
1 Samuel 15 (ESV)
The Lord Rejects Saul
15 And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
4 So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley.6 Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7 And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.
10 The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night. 12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” 14 And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak.”
17 And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said,
“Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.23
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” 26 And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” 30 Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul bowed before the Lord.
32 Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
What struck me was: why do we so often not obey the voice of the LORD?
OK maybe we don't have a prophet like Samuel saying to us "Thus says the LORD!" But we do have the Holy Spirit in us, who has been sent by God to be our guide, to lead us into all truth, I'd say that's even better then having a Samuel!
OK yet I still so often do not listen to the voice of the LORD! I will get a nudging from deep within, and I'll ignore it! Why? Saul says that he didn't listen to the voice of the LORD because he feared the people and obeyed their voice...
Could this be the same for you and I? Do we sometime ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit because we fear "the people" and instead listen to them?
I think that I often operate out of a spirit of fear, fear that I will not be liked, fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, fear of being left out... fear fear fear!
I far to often ignore the nudging Holy Spirit when He says to me "stay home tonight, and just rest, alone with me," or "don't have another drink, you don't need it, it will not satisfy your thirsty soul," or "don't text him, you are seeking love but he can't give it to you, only I can." All of these are not necessarily bad, I am a social, celebratory, and relational person, this is how God has created me, to be in loving relationships with others, and I believe he delights in my enjoyment in life! But my problem is when I ignore (disobey) the nudging of the Holy Spirit (the voice of the LORD) because of my fears (fearing the people).
Before you throw up your hands in despair and give up, please hear these words that the Apostle Paul encourages Timothy with, "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7)...
You hear that? YOU have NOT been given a spirit of fear! Nope God has given YOU a spirit of POWER and LOVE and SELF-CONTROL!
OK I don't know about you but that is some good news that I need to hear more often...
I'm going to leave you with one of my favorite verses, I remind myself of this truth whenever I'm feeling discouraged and feel like giving up...
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him" (Phil 2:13 NLT).