My family and I are currently reading our way through the Old Testament. We are in the book of Numbers right now. It is so neat to read about God's people. And of the time when God led them through the wilderness on the way to the promise land, and how He took such great and loving care of them. But they unfortunately did't always obey Him. The one instance that we just read about last really stuck out at me.
You can read about that in Numbers 20: 7- 13. The people were very thirsty, and began to complain as they so often did, and were wising they were back in Egypt. So God told Moses, in verse 8, to take his rod, gather the people, and speak to the rock before the people and it should give forth water so that the whole congregation should drink and all the animals. So Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation before the rock. And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice, and the water came out abundantly and the people and the animals drank ( verse 11) .
In verse 12 we read, "And the lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring the congregation into the land which I have given them."
What may have seemed but a small thing to Mosses, striking the rock in stead of speaking to it. It wasn't. It was flat out disobedience. God clearly said to speak to it, and instead he struck it with his rod. We could argue that it shouldn't of made a difference, but it did. God said, and so that is the way it was to be done.
After reading that area in Numbers I was reminded of a place later on in the book of first Samuel where again something was done just a little different than the instructions God had given. You can read that in first Samuel 15. Notice the strict instructions in verses 2 & 3.
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Go down to verse 9 and we read that Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good and, and would not utterly destroy them.
Now read verses 10 & 11.
10 Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying,
11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.
I will not put all those verses here, but please read verses 12 - 22. Samuel went to meet Saul. They have quite a discussion on what had transpired. In verse 18 Samuel tells Saul that God sent him ( Saul ) on a journey, and said 'Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.' Verse 19 Samuel says, 'Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and did evil in the sight of the Lord?'
Saul replies to that in verses 20 -21. Then Samuel concludes with this in the next 2 verses.
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.
What may have seemed like a minor thing to Saul, keeping the best of the animals for sacrifice. It was not, because God had spoken on how he wanted things done. God had given clear instructions, and Saul chose to do things his own way.
Doesn't that sound exactly what people are doing with the 7th Day Sabbath when they take Sunday instead. God gave us the Sabbath day as a rest day way back in Genesis 2, verses 1-3. And then gave it as a command in the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai. Exodus 20 : 8-11, which is know as the fourth commandment.
But people say, "Oh, it doesn't matter what day you rest and worship on as long as you take and honor a day to the Lord." Is that really what God said though? NO HE DIDN'T!
And you can see from the example with Moses and Saul that what God said he meant and expected them to obey -- in the exact way he said to do it. What is worse? To strike the rock instead of speaking to it, or take another day for rest and worship instead of one God gave us?
I know that it is said the Sabbath day was changed to Sunday after Jesus's resurrection, but it wasn't. Sure the apostles met on the first day of the week for different reasons ( breaking bread together & gathering the collection ), but it was not the new Sabbath. The apostles, just as we, would have no right to change one of the 10 commandments. And in Matthew 5: 17 to 20, we can read that Jesus didn't change any commandments either. None of the 10 commandments were done away with, before or after His resurrection. And so the seventh day Sabbath still stands. God said it, and so that is the way it is.
We can be just as guilty as Mosses or Saul if we feel we have a better way or that our way is as just as good, but let us not forget obedience is better than sacrifice.
~ Keep on for God, doing what he says the way He says, even if you can't understand why!
In Him, Mae
1 Samuel 15 : 22
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.
I am a wife to my wonderful husband, Paul, of over 22 years. Mommy to 9 blessings, ages 21 to 3 years. Our 2nd oldest son, at age 14, has gone on to be with the Lord on April 19th, 2017. I share about that new road we are on here on my blog.
My first 7 years of blogging.
Great inspirational reading!
"I believe a greater intimacy with God leads us to an inner peace, unquenchable joy, & an ever-lasting hope regardless of what we go through in life." Mae