Doing things our own way risks the minimization and devaluing of God’s Word. ~~~ 1 Samuel 13:14 “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of teh Lord your God, with which he commanded you. Now your kingdom shall not continue.” Upon reading the text that way, all of our sympathy moves in the direction of Saul, and our eyebrows are raised at the reaction of God. We can see his punishment, the removal of the kingdom, as too harsh, too reactionary, filled with vitriol. It is moments like this that we can start to have this image form in our minds of an OT God that is not loving, not caring, and overly-vengeful. But is that really the case? Remember the warning that was given. “If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, if both you and the king who reigns over you will allow the LORD your God, it will be well. But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.” The word of God is very clear on this, is it not? His voice and His command and His word is to be feared, adhered to, over and above any other voice, including the voice of the fearful who run away, and including the rising shout of the enemy as they draw closer. Do you sometimes find yourself in that very situation? Friends moving away from you and the enemy moving closer? This is what can happen when you are a leader? When you go to war spiritually for those under your care. In order to make this group happy, and to keep that group away, you start making decisions that you think are best. Now at this point, it is important to ask, just what was the command of the LORD that Saul has not listened to. Is it that he, a king, offered a sacrifice and that job is reserved for priests only? I do not think that is the issue here. We are not in the temple at this point, where the priests would serve. What is at issue is that Samuel has instructed him to wait seven days for Samuel to come to him and offer the sacrifices in the right way. And it has been shown to us repeatedly that Samuel speaks the word of the LORD. So Saul has taken it upon himself to break this command from Samuel, which is really the command of God. The reason this is so grievous is because the direction and attitude of the King towards God’s word would greatly influence the direction and attitude of the people toward’s God’s word. This is not your next door neighbor of whom you don’t know their last name. This is THE KING. If the word of God is not good enough for the king, then why should the people care anything about it? If it is displayed that the king’s own personal authority is higher than the word of God, then why would the people listen to the word of God? That is what is at risk here—the minimization of God before the people, the devaluing of God, the striking at the holiness and weight of the glory of God Himself. God was not about to let that happen, when He knew His word is the best thing, the highest authority, for His people. But we have a king who had the authority of God’s word as his ultimate authority in King Jesus. And it is to him we look day by day. And when you look to him, you will not see any minimalization of His father’s word.