Disobedience To God Can Be An Awful Thing


Disobedience to God is never a good thing, but sometimes it turns out to be a terrible thing that changes our lives forever.

I encourage you to read the whole chapter of I Samuel 15, but for the sake of having a shorter post I will summarize much of it and just give you key verses.

15 1-2 Samuel said to Saul, “God sent me to anoint you king over his people, Israel. Now, listen again to what God says. This is the God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking:

2-3 “‘I’m about to get even with Amalek for ambushing Israel when Israel came up out of Egypt. Here’s what you are to do: Go to war against Amalek. Put everything connected with Amalek under a holy ban. And no exceptions! This is to be total destruction—men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys—the works.’”

Samuel, the Priest, was told by God to anoint Saul to be the first king over Israel.

But he was given specific instructions about what he was to do. God told him that He would utterly destroy the nation of Amalek because they had come against Israel and tried to destroy them. Now they would pay the ultimate price for what they had done.

SO… Saul was given specific instructions: he was to totally destroy everything, with no exceptions.

God helped them win the huge battle against the Amalekites; now they were to do as He commanded and utterly destroy everything the Amalekites owned. But… they didn’t.


7-9 Then Saul went after Amalek, from the canyon all the way to Shur near the Egyptian border. He captured Agag, king of Amalek, alive. Everyone else was killed under the terms of the holy ban. Saul and the army made an exception for Agag, and for the choice sheep and cattle. They didn’t include them under the terms of the holy ban. But all the rest, which nobody wanted anyway, they destroyed as decreed by the holy ban.


It seems that Saul felt he knew what was best because he was the king, and he only did part of what God had told him to do. He saved back the best animals for a sacrifice to God for helping them utterly destroy Amalek.

Even though Saul had greatly disobeyed God, when Samuel confronted him, he tried to justify his actions. His story was that he had only saved the choicest of the animals to sacrifice to God to thank Him for giving them victory.

I’m sure it didn’t seem like a big deal to him at the time, but when God gives instructions, He expects you to carry them out fully.

God was so upset with Saul that he took his kingship away from him. From that day on, his life went radically downhill until he totally lost the respect of those who had once loved and honored him as King. His disobedience had cost him greatly.

He had lost sight of the One True God and had made him a ritualistic god who would be pleased with a sacrifice over obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22, 23 MSG “Then Samuel said, Do you think all God wants are sacrifices— empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to God’s command, he says No to your kingship.”


From the Wesley Commentary

… obedience to God is a moral duty, constantly and indispensably necessary; but sacrifice is but a ceremonial institution, sometimes unnecessary, as it was in the wilderness: and sometimes sinful, when it is offered by a polluted hand, or in an irregular manner. Therefore his (Saul’s) gross disobedience to God’s express command, was not to be compensated with sacrifice.

Those are unworthy to rule over men, who are not willing that God should rule over them.

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When God tells you to do something, it is extremely important that you do it even though you might not understand the significance of it. Sometimes God is testing you to see if you will be obedient. What He told you to do might seem very insignificant and mundane to you, but the God of the Universe has told you to do it.

How insignificant can it be if God Himself has told you to do it?

You never know when God might be testing you to obey in a very small thing because He desires to use you for something much larger in the future.

Since we humans desire to find logic in everything, it is easy to dismiss something we think is small as being insignificant.

Saul ignored what he thought was a small thing and decided to do things his own way, and it ultimately cost him his kingship.

Not only that, but he spent years being jealous of David; he was so obsessed with jealousy that he tried to kill him several times. By disobeying God, he lost his integrity and honor with the people he ruled. They quickly turned to David as their leader because he had the integrity that Saul had lost.

Saul’s disobedience cost him dearly. Instead of dying as a beloved king who ruled well, he died in shame by being ruled by jealousy and obsessed with the fact that the people had lost confidence in him. He died in disgrace because he disregarded the word of God spoken by Samuel during that one important time.

There is one action that tips the scales toward a downward slide, but there is a heart issue that always precedes it.

Pride does terrible things to a person. It causes them to think they are indispensible and have power they ultimately do not have. It totally destroys their ability to think rationally and leaves them ultimately disgraced and sometimes destroyed. And last, just like Saul, it causes you to justify your situation and feel that God will make an exception for you.

If you absolutely know for certain that God has told you to do something, PLEASE! PLEASE! Be obedient to do it. Disobedience can cost you much more than you ever imagined.

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God has radically changed my life, and I want to share the awesome things I am learning with you. I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life.


This post written by Cathy Deaton.

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages.  I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.