Disqualifications continued

A Man of God (1 Kings 13:1-17)

In 1 Kings 13:1-17 we find the story of the tragic outcome of a young prophet of God who disobeyed.  The Lord had given him specific directions which he followed to the letter, up to a point.  He said, “9 For I was commanded by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall eat no bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’”  When that word was challenged by the king’s invitation, the man of God stood firm.  Perhaps because this was an evil king (as evidenced by the word delivered from the Lord).  When that same word was challenged by the old prophet, the young prophet still stood strong.  But when the old prophet pressed further by lying to him, the young prophet relented, and disobeyed the Lord.  His disobedience cost him his life, just as our disobedience will cost us the life that God has planned for each of us; a life of abundance and blessing and fullness and overflow and prosperity in every area.  Obedience not sustained is disobedience.

Israelites in the Wilderness (Numbers 13 & 14)

In Exodus 3:8, the Lord promised to bring the Israelites out of Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey.  But the Israelites would not believe or obey the Lord.  They could not possess a land that they refused to go into.  By the time they decided to obey the Lord, it was too late.  It wasn’t until after judgment had been pronounced, and the Lord had given them a new command (Numbers 14:25), that they decided to disobey the new command and tried to obey the previous one.  Read this account in Numbers 14:39-45.

39 Moses told [the Lord’s] words to all the Israelites, and [they] mourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, Behold, we are here, and we intend to go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned. 41 But Moses said, Why now do you transgress the command of the Lord [to turn back by way of the Red Sea], since it will not succeed? 42 Go not up, for the Lord is not among you, that you be not struck down before your enemies. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned away from following after the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you. 44 But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country; however, neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out of the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites came down and the Canaanites who dwelt in that hill country and smote the Israelites and beat them back, even as far as Hormah.

It cost them forty years of wandering in the desert and they never obtained those promises.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.

King Saul (1 Samuel 13:8-14; 15:1-35)

The Lord had greatly honored Saul by choosing him above all men to be the first king of Israel.  But Saul disobeyed the law in 1 Samuel 13 when he offered the burnt sacrifice.  It would be just the same as if we disobeyed the Bible which is the written will of God.  For example, the Bible tells us in Malachi 3:8-10, Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 to bring our tithes and offerings to the Lord.  If we know this and don’t do it, we are being disobedient.  Again, the Lord has directed us in John 15:12, 17 to love one another.  If we don’t do this, we are being disobedient.  The Lord said in John 14:15, 21, 24 that those who truly love Him obey Him.  Obedience becomes easier as we practice it daily.  But if we practice disobedience, that becomes easier too.

Later in 1 Samuel 15, Saul disobeyed a direct command from the Lord through the prophet Samuel.  He proudly boasted how he had obeyed the Lord (which he hadn’t) in verse 13.  When confronted by the prophet, he still maintained the lie, but added excuses for his partial obedience.  It wasn’t until judgment had been pronounced on him that he admitted his sin of disobedience.  By then it was too late.  It cost him not only his throne, but also the Presence of the Lord (1 Samuel 16:14).  Nothing is worth losing the Presence of the Lord.  Saul was a tormented man from that day until his death.  Partial obedience is disobedience.

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