The Death in Disobedience

By Evan Wiggs



Many today in the Church look upon sin as a trifling thing, as a thing of small consequences, but they are absolutely dead wrong.  Sin is a great bane in the Church today and many suffer the pains and arrows of its consequences.


Saul was chosen by God to be King of all Israel and he started well with humility and obedience to the Lord, but something happened later and the death of disobedience came forth.


1 Samuel 15:1 - 31 (NASB) 1Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD.  2“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt 3‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” 4Then Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah 5Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the valley.  6Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.  7So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt 8He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.  9But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. 10Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying,  11“I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night.  12Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal.”  13Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD.”  14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”  15Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.”  16Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait, and let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!” 17Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel,  18and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’  19“Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” 20Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.  21“But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”  22Samuel said,     “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. 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.” 24Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.  25“Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.”  26But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.”  27As Samuel turned to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.  28So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.  29“Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”  30Then he said, “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and go back with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.”  31So Samuel went back following Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.


Look at this story.  God gave specific commands, commands that to us today in our morays might seem a bit overboard, but were real and for real reasons.  We cannot pick and choose what we want to believe or accept in the Living Word of God and neither could Saul.  This disobedience was called the same as witchcraft and divination or as iniquity and idolatry.  Pretty strong words.  After all Saul had an explanation didn’t he.  Why he saved the best sheep, goats and cattle to sacrifice to God. But of course God said that the Lord delights in obedience and not sacrifice.  He delights in the heart that is turned to Him alone and not to just mechanical things that are not part of His heart.


And here was the death for Saul, the kingdom was taken away from him at that moment.  It took a few more years to be culminated but it was gone as far as God was concerned and He already had another man chosen for king and Saul was left out in the cold because he couldn’t figure out that obedience was so very important.


Look  at the people of Israel as they come first into the land of the Amorites they were to take.


Remember they sent in the 12 spies and they brought back the wonderful fruit of the land and proved that what God has said, “This land is a land of milk and honey” was true.  But they also saw the Anakim there too.  These were giants and the 10 spies brought fear into the peoples hearts and they rejected God’s plan for them and disobeyed the Living God to their peril. 


Deuteronomy 1:34 - 40 (NASB) 34“Then the LORD heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying,  35‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers,  36except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully.’  37“The LORD was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there.  38‘Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it.  39‘Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.  40‘But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’


Oh the disobedience cost them the Land in their generation.  God said that the generation who disobeyed Him would all have to die in the wilderness, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb who were the two faithful and obedient spies.  There was death in this disobedience.  They also missed out on God’s plan for them and they weren’t able to grab it back even though they tried.


Deuteronomy 1:41 - 46 (NASB) 41“Then you said to me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD; we will indeed go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.’ And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country.  42“And the LORD said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; otherwise you will be defeated before your enemies.”’  43“So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country.  44“The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah 45“Then you returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you.  46“So you remained in Kadesh many days, the days that you spent there.


Oh people of God, disobedience is so very serious.  After the people figured out that they had missed God’s plan for them, they decided they would go out and do what they were supposed to at first, thinking it would be an easy task.  But they disobeyed again and many were killed as God would not go with them in this futile venture.  Many people today are in disobedience and operating in a futile venture that will fail until they get themselves right with God.  But even then they have missed what immediate obedience would have gained them and they will never get that opportunity back again.


Romans 6:23 (NASB) 23For the wages of sin is death


We use this verse for witnessing to the lost and showing them the penalty of sin.  But we forget that this book Romans was written to the Church and not to the lost.  This verse applies to Christians just as much as it applies to non Christians.  Sin brings death to many, many Christians and we don’t even seem to see it.  It brings physical death and spiritual death and ministry death.  You cannot understand how serious God takes sin and disobedience until you see this verse for what it really says.


I know a Church where disobedience is in the leadership.  They have spoken lies about others before men and the Holy One has heard.  Pride and arrogance are in their hearts and the Holy One who hates such things has taken note.  His judgment has descended upon that church and the demonic has invaded.  14 people, including 2 pastors now have raging cancers, there have been miscarriages and marriage breakups. No one has understood what is really happening here.  They are attempting to practice “Spiritual Warfare” but it will be totally ineffective until the root causes are dealt with.  And dealt with in a very public way, before the whole church who is suffering because of their sin and disobedience.  It not a little ten pound monkey on their back and some small sin that a little time at the altar will take care of.  It is not an 800 pound gorilla of the demonic that they can do a little “Spiritual Warfare” and be done with.  It is the 8 million pound gorilla with the name of Yahweh with Whom they deal and they had better figure this out or that church is doomed as a fellowship.  God is the Lord of His church and He does not mind one whit in destroying a particular fellowship when sin is in the leadership to such a degree.  Remember Ananias and Sapphria in Acts 5:1-11. 


If you are in this state of affairs in your church or your life.  Look to the God of mercy and come to Him for His grace with weeping and trembling.  For He will cleanse you, but you may have missed His very best as well if you are in disobedience. 


Brothers and sisters it is so much better to be immediately obedient to every word of the Lord to us and to every command we understand.  It is the way of life and health for your body, your soul, your spirit and your ministry.