Attitude Check

But Samuel replied [to King Saul]: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
1 Samuel 15:22-23, NIV* (emphasis mine)

When I read these verses the other day at Other Food: Daily Devos, four words jumped out at me:

Obey… Heed.

Rebellion… Arrogance.

It all comes back to attitude, doesn’t it? God asks for a trusting, obedient heart, for a person who will love, listen and live under His authority.

Contrast this with King David’s prayer:

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:10-12, NIV*

I wonder from his word choices if David isn’t remembering God’s words to Saul. The difference in the two men’s hearts is what pleases God:

David has committed a series of sins that we might judge as worse than Saul’s. But David pleads for God to renew their relationship, and I think his prayer for “a willing spirit” is key.

What will enable us to make the ongoing choice to heed and obey God? To trust His character enough to do it His way rather than our way? A willing spirit.

Father, I can’t thank You enough for saving me—and for Your promise never to leave me. I confess it’s easier to walk by sight than by faith, to follow my own understanding rather than trusting You. In Your mercy, please keep working to change me. Because of Your Son, forgive me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, so that I can follow You.

Let “Draw Me Close to You,” sung here by Michael W. Smith, be our prayer today:

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

4 thoughts on “Attitude Check

    1. janetsketchley

      I’ve been challenged lately that sometimes even when we think we’re trusting God we’re still not really doing so, we’re trusting in ourselves. I’m reading a very helpful book, Having a Mary Spirit, by Joanna Weaver, and just read a challenging chapter on fear and trust and obedience.

      The better we know His character, the easier it is to trust Him.

  1. Ginny Jaques

    Yes! I’ve always thought this verse was a direct reference to Saul’s fall from God’s grace. I think Saul’s refusal to do things God’s way was a powerful lesson to David. Remember how David was adamant that he would not ever kill Saul in order to gain the kingship God had prophesied for him? I think his insistence came out of a great fear of going ahead of God, or not waiting for God, like Saul had done. Amazing that Saul’s disobedience would play a part in David’s preparation for his reign.

    And I loved the Michael Smith song. Thanks for blessing the beginning of my day, Janet!

    1. janetsketchley

      I hadn’t thought of this before, Ginny, about Saul’s example having such a big influence on David while he was waiting to be king. We can all learn from this!


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