Tearing Comic Strips
“Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel. ‘I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and not carried out my instructions.’ ‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings...as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD?’” 1 Sam 15:10, 22.
It was a Sunday morning and I was riding home in my dad’s car from church with the family. My sister Becki and I were in the back seat tearing up the comic strips in the newspaper. Daddy told us more than once to quit tearing the paper or we would be in trouble when we got home. We had already begun ripping another strip and only had a tiny tear left to complete the separation of comics. Eyes locked together, we very carefully and quietly tore that final piece. Uh oh! It was louder than we anticipated, and Daddy was furious informing us of our looming punishment. As soon as we got home, we flew into the house, tore open the drawer that housed the tape and went behind closed doors. We lined the comic strips back up, taped them together, delighting in our efforts and presented our offering to Daddy for pardon, missing the point of disobedience completely!
King Saul did the same thing. God had instructed him to leave the plunder alone after attacking the Amalekites and to kill King Agag. Instead, he allowed the king to live and kept the best sheep and cattle of the plunder. Once he got caught, he explained that his disobedience was really an attempt to offer God sacrifices. He basically taped up the comic strips and presented them to God for pardon. Well it didn’t work with Daddy and it didn’t work with God!
When God gives us clear instructions, we must not deviate from those commands. They have been placed in our lives for protection and guidance as God looks out for our best interest and development. We cannot take matters into our own hands and expect to get away with it. When we can’t understand the reason behind God’s commands and guidance, we have to trust His faithfulness and wisdom apart from our own calculations.
When we are faithful with obedience, God will be faithful with blessings; the two walk hand in hand in God's economy.