Every honest man knows the struggle and pain of selective obedience. On more than one occasion, King Saul of the Old Testament could not resist his impulses to mess with God’s clear instruction.
Samuel said to Saul…, “This is what the LORD
Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for
what they did to Israel…. Now go, attack the
Amalekites and totally destroy everything that
belongs to them….'”
Then Saul attacked the Amalekites…. He
took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all
his people he totally destroyed…. But Saul and
the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and
cattle, the fat calves and lambs–everything that
Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel,
“I am grieved that I have made Saul king.”
(I SAMUEL 15:1-3,7-11, emphasis added)
All can see that God’s instruction was clear. But Saul obeyed God selectively, and his arrogance cost him. More poignantly, a hopeful Father was grieved.