God Wants Obedience from the Heart, not Mere Acts of Religious Ritual – July 11, 2023 

Tuesday, July 11th

Devotional written by Pastor Curtis Johnson, Adult Ministries Pastor





To read today: 1 Samuel 13:13-14


But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like a sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

1 Samuel 15:22-23





During the final chapters of 1 Samuel, we watch Saul slowly descend into madness, while David rises to power. As a skilled general under Saul’s command, David achieved remarkable victories and gained widespread renown. However, Saul’s rapid descent into jealousy led him to pursue David relentlessly, seeking his demise. David, however, did nothing wrong and simply ran away and waited. This shows his true character. Despite multiple opportunities to kill Saul, he doesn’t. Instead, David trusts that, despite Saul’s evil, God will raise up a king for his people.

Saul is a tragic figure, full of promise, tall, and good-looking. He seems like a great candidate for a king, but he has deep character flaws. He’s dishonest, lacks integrity, and refuses to acknowledge his errors which become the seeds of his downfall. While he wins some battles, his flaws run so deep that he disqualifies himself by blatantly disobeying God’s commands.

Final thought: Whatever we accomplish on our own is only a hint of what God can do through our lives. Does God control your life?




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