1 Samuel 15:22-23 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. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
You know the background. Saul is commanded by God to completely destroy the Amalekites. But when Samuel pays a visit, he finds that the best of the sheep and oxen – as well as King Agag – have been spared. Saul tries to excuse his incomplete obedience by saying that the sheep and oxen were kept so they could be sacrificed to the Lord.
Of course, Samuel responds in verse 22 with the famous statement, to obey is better than sacrifice. In verse 23, he equates rebellion and stubbornness with witchcraft and idolatry.
But what jumped out at me last time I read this passage was what Samuel equated Saul's partial obedience with – thou hast rejected the word of the Lord.
Now, I assume that the great majority of those who read this believe strongly that the Bible is the word of God and would quickly contend with anybody who would deny it – and rightly so. But the question we have to be careful to ask ourselves is this: Is that something we say we believe, or is that something we really believe?
You see, if we really believe the Bible is the word of Almighty God, and we really believe that He is Who He says He is – all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful – then we'll obey what He says. Simple as that.
But ignoring the clear commandments and principles we find in scripture (BOTH what we ought to do be doing and what we ought not be doing) says to God that we just really don't think He knows what He's talking about.
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie… Most of us would never dream of using a version that deletes some 64,000 words (like the NIV). We might even go so far as to label those who would defend such a (per)version of the scriptures a Bible rejecter, and I'm not saying we shouldn't. What I'm saying is that we need to be mindful of the fact that God views our incomplete obedience much the same way.
Are YOU a Bible rejecter?