I’m not a trained psychologist, but it doesn’t take a degree to figure out that the human heart is a bit skewed sometimes.
Take Saul, for example. When God decided to settle accounts with the Amalekite nation for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt, He gave Saul specific orders: “Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.” Any questions?
So Saul sets out with nearly a quarter million soldiers. Somewhere in the midst of the battle, he forgets—either accidentally or intentionally—what God said. Or perhaps he figures God wasn’t serious. And so, he wipes out all the Amalekites…except King Agag. Oh yeah, he also keeps “the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality” (1 Samuel 15:2,9).
Why did Saul think he could fulfill only part of God’s command and not all? Perhaps he thought it was okay so long as he could justify his actions. When Samuel confronted him about those actions, he said cheerfully, “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle…but they are going to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. We have destroyed everything else” (v. 15).
See what I mean about the human heart being a bit skewed at times? We knowingly do our own thing and then justify our behavior thinking God will recant: “Okay, I see your point. You’re right; I was wrong.”
When God saw that Saul had not fulfilled His command completely, He was sorry He’d ever appointed him as king. The story would have had a much happier ending if Saul had done as God had commanded.
What is God telling you to do? Forgive someone who has hurt you? Give generously to those in need? Sell your business and take up career ministry? Do what He says, every part. Don’t settle for less thinking you can justify your actions.
I’ll commit to doing the same. The last thing I want is for God to be sorry He’s given me the position of leadership He’s entrusted to me. How about you?
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