Saturday, April 9, 2011

One-Upping God

I said I wanted to exercise my God muscle, and He is the one who showed up to the gym! (Was that a bad joke? Yes, that was dorky . . . sorry. . . but it's staying.)

Anyway, He has been making Himself very present in my mind lately, so much so that I have three or four musings that have been rattling around in my head, and I can't seem to think all the way through them. Ryan is home with the girls right now so I can get away from the normal commotion of our house (and the rooster) and think. And also enjoy a mango smoothie from Panera.

The first musing involves a brief passage from I Samuel. Saul, the newly crowned first king of Israel, was told by God to attack a city. God instructed Saul to kill every living being in that city so the Lord would deliver it into Saul's hands. Saul attacked the city, and God made Saul victorious. After the big "W", Saul took the best of the animals and sacrificed them to God. God was furious.

Say what???

God was asking for obedience, and He was pretty clear about what that looked like. Saul did not obey God's instructions.

But I find myself defending Saul anyway.

Saul was doing something even better, wasn't he? It seems so wasteful to kill off everything when it could be USED for God! A pleasing sacrifice! A symbol of God's dominance! A winner's podium of sorts!

But that isn't how God looked at it. God was angry that Saul did what he did. And what did Saul do? He, in essence, one-upped God. Saul thought he knew better than God.

Well, I am obviously not conquering any cities or anything, so I am clearly not in danger of sacrificing animals instead of obeying. Whew.

But I do one-up God, or in other words, I adapt His commands to better suit me. You know, because I know better than God what works.

What? We should take care of widows and orphans? How about INSTEAD I just encourage (verbally, of course! not even financially!) other people to adopt.

We should give money cheerfully? How about instead I just robotically give a portion of my excess.

We should submit to our husbands? How about I instead I push my husband to become someone a little easier to submit to.

I guess that the warm-fuzzies of good intentions don't hold up in front of the Lord. He prefers true obedience and isn't the idiot I pretend He is sometimes.

"To obey is better than to sacrifice. And to heed is better than the fat of rams."

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