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The Benefits of Obedience

Text: 1 Sam.15:12-24

12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.

13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.

14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

22 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.

23 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.

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Introduction:

The key verse before us today is verse 22 which says, "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken that the fat of rams." Have you every considered the context in which those words were spoken?

Saul had become king. Jehovah sent a message to him through Samuel, that he was to smite Amalek again and to utterly destroy all they had. Amalek is a type of the flesh and its lusts. King Saul was to war with them and destroy them all. The army of Saul was gathered together to do what Jehovah demanded of them; however, Saul and his people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings and the lambs. They would not destroy what they felt was good.

Saul said he had performed the commandment of the Lord when Saul knew that it was a lie. He sinned against the Lord because he feared the people and would not stand for what was right before God. Saul would not stand for what was right because he was afraid of the people. Finally Saul confessed his sin (v.24-31) and was willing to be obedient, rather than be disobedient to the Word of God.

In that context the writer of I Samuel says, "To obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken that the fat of rams." The most important thing you will ever do in life is to obey God.

The Bible has instances of both them who obeyed and those who disobeyed. It is the obedient that receives God’s richest blessings. Disobedience brings trouble while obedience brings blessing. The old song says, "Trust and obey for theres is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

I love to see the Bible instances of the obedient. For instance think about several things with me:

1- Angels obey the Lord.

Ps. 103:20 says, "Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word."

2- Jesus obeyed the Father.

Heb 10:7 declares, " Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God."

3- Saints are elected unto obedience.

1Pe 1:2 says, " Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

4- Noah obeyed the Lord.

Ge 6:22 verifies that: "Thus did Noah; according to ALL that God commanded him, so did he." All that God instructed him concerning the arm was obey as to the ship itself and also the animals that were taken on board.

5- Abraham obeyed the Lord.

God told him Abraham in Gen. 12:1: " Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee."

6- Caleb obeyed the Lord.

Numbers 32:11-12 says, " Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD."

7- Asa obeyed the Lord.

1Kings 15:11 tells us of Asa and relates that, "Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father." That statement simply suggests that he was obedient to the Lord.

On and on the list could go of people who obeyed the Lord. It could include Elijah, Hezekiah, Josiah, Zerubabel, Joseph, the Wise Men, Zacharias, Paul, the saints at Rome. On and on our list could go of those who were obedient to the Lord.

What does it mean to be obedient?

1- To comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of: for example to obey one's parents or to obey God.

2-- To submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse, one's conscience, etc.) To "submit" means "to put yourself under the authority of another."

3- To agree to obey.

What we do not often like to face is there is punishment for refusing to obey the Lord:

Deut. 11:26-28 reminds us of that truth: " Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

The Christian should simply take God at His Word and know that what He desires is best for us.

Illustration:

I read once of a little girl who asked her girlfriend if she could go on a picnic with here. She said to her friend, "Wait just a minute, let me go and ask mother if it is OK." When she came back she told the other girl that her mother said she could not go. The other girl said to her, "You probably didn’t talk hard enough. Don’t let your mother go at that. God beg her some more and then she will probably let you go."

She answered her friend by saying, "Oh no, I would never do that. When my mother says ‘no’ she doesn’t change her mind. She knows what is best for me, so I will do what she says."

We should have the same attitude toward the Lord and His will for our lives.

Lets think about some of the benefits that obedience to God brings into our lives:

satisfaction

sweet testimony

showers of blessings

smile of God

safety in God

I. Satisfaction

A. The Satisfaction of Man

There is something that makes you feel good, when you know that you have obeyed the will of your Heavenly Father for your life.

Illustration:

No young man could have possess any greater admiration for their father than I had for my own, Ben Walker. I had so much respect for him, this is how I felt. If I did what he told me to do, it made me feel very good, but if I failed to obey him, then I felt rotten on the inside. I knew how good he had been to me from the time I was born, so I felt badly when I knew that my conduct wasn’t of the kind that he could approve. When I obeyed Dad I felt a sense of gratification and fulfillment.

Let’s bring this matter into the spiritual realm. Does it bother you when you know you are displeasing God about some particular matter? It may be a deed or an attitude. It may be something that you have failed to do or something that you have done that displeased Him. There are sins of omission and sins of commission. It is a sin not to please our Father in Heaven.

B. The Satisfaction of God

Thinks about this:

Parents, consider how you feel when you tell your children how you feel about something-------then they cooperate rather than rebel fight against you. That help brings happiness into your life as a parent—you have a sense of satisfaction when your children do what you ask or command them to do.

How do you think God feels when his children are obedient? He is a person in the sense that he has emotions, intellect and will. We are made in the image of God. We also have intellect, emotions and will. I believe God is absolutely delighted when his children are obedient. It brings a sense of satisfaction when His children are ready and willing to obey Him.

If a child only knew the grief they cause parents when they disobey they would be less prone to disobey. One day we did not know, but when you have raised children your begin to understand how a parent really feels about the matter of cooperation and obedience.

The people who are being baptized this evening can have the satisfaction have obeyed what was commanded in the Great Commission, that is to be baptized.

Satisfaction

II. Showing

What does being baptized show?

It shows something to others, to the holy angels, and to God Almighty.

A. It Shows Our Leaving

That we are leaving the old way of life. The water represents a grave or death. We come up out of water leaving the old way of life.

Becoming a Christian is beginning a new way of life. When you leave the old life of sin, you begin an adventure of holy living on the Highway of Holiness.

Note:

Think of the Apostle Paul, how drastically his life changed. He was delivering Christians unto death and was sorely and severely persecuting the church. But, after salvation he loved those whom he had before despised and hated.

B. It Show Our Believing

It is a testimony to the fact that we believe that Christ died, was buried and rose again. Aren’t you glad that Christ did not stay in the grave?

I am not ashamed of Jesus. He is not ashamed of me before the right hand of the Father on high. In spite of the fact that we are sorry as we are he intercedes for us day and night before the Father on high. Should I be ashamed of Him who is perfect, God over all?

Baptism sends a message and gives a testimony:

It is not that baptism saves for it is symbolic.  Some said you can be baptized and stay underwater so much that you know the name of every fish in the creek, and still be lost as lost can be.

Satisfaction

Showing

III Safety

You are never anymore safe than you are when you are being obedient to the Lord. It does not always mean being comfortable.

It does not always mean smooth sailing, but it does mean that we are safe when we are doing the will of God.

Illustration:
David and the Giant Goliath in the valley of Elah. The giant was intimidating Israel. The Israelites were cowering in fear because of the giant. The giant was some nine feet tall and was covered with heavy armor. As he defied the armies of Israel, he called for one of them to come fight him. David went with food to help feed the Israelites, but God put it in his heart to fight the giant.

What faith David had in his heart! God put in his heart to defy the giant. He did what God told him to do.

1Sa 17:37 David said, "The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee."

Young David went out to face the giant. The giant made fun of him. David took his sling, a smooth stone, and hit the giant right between the eyes.

 

Satisfaction
Showing
Safety

IV. Showers of Blessing

Nu 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

Caleb could go into the land because he was obedient to God. His seed would be blessed.

Show obedience to God to your children. Show them the right thing about the things of God. Convey by your life that you are submissive to the will of God for your life.

Mal. 3:8-10 speaks of God sending blessing more than there is room enough to receive, as a result of being obedient with the tithe.

 

V. Smile of God

Jesus gave a valuable lesson in the Parable of the Talents. One servant was faithful, took his five talents and made five more talents with it. In Mt 25:23 we are told, " His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

I had rather please God than anyone I know. He is well pleased when we moved swiftly in prompt obedience to His commands concerning our lives.

Conclusion:

1- The obedient know God’s Best.

2- The obedient manifest their faith.
    Show your faith by your works( Ja. 2:29).

SERMON FROM DR. TOM WALKER-
ZION HILL BAPTIST CHURCH--MARION, NC--USA


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