Forgiveness or Permission

This morning I was reading in 1 Samuel 15. Saul is given a specific task that he only partially carries out. He directly disobeyed the Lord. Later in the chapter, Samuel confronts him with these words,

(verse 22)    “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

As in obeying the voice of the LORD?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams.

(verse 23)    For rebellion is as the sin of divination,

And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry

Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,

He has also rejected you from being king.”

Wow. The consequences Saul bore were pretty heavy; earlier in the chapter it even says that God regretted Saul being king! The thought of making my God regret putting me in a certain position is so humbling—I want to be found faithful, not regrettable. The ultimate reality here for me is that it is always better to practice direct obedience than to abuse my atonement and ability to attain forgiveness when I know better. Doesn’t make it any easier, but I know that my obedience means more to God than my repentance.

Better to ask forgiveness or permission?

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