In 1 Samuel 15 God tells Saul to go into battle against the Amalekites and not to spare a single one of them. Saul goes into battle against them, but his men spare the king (to imprison him) and the best of the livestock. Samuel, a prophet through whom God speaks to the Israelites and Saul, asks Saul why and what he was thinking. Saul’s response is that he obeyed God because he destroyed everything else, but brought only the best to sacrifice to God. Samuel’s response is quite chilling:
“Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you as king.”
-1 Samuel 15:22-23 AMP
In reference to this passage Joyce Meyer talks about that a great deal of rebellion is the result of abuse. “When a person has been repeatedly hurt by others, there usually comes a time when he makes up his mind, ‘Nobody is ever going to push me around again. As long as I live, nobody is going to tell me what to do. Why should I submit to somebody I can’t trust to do what’s best for me? From now on, I’m going to look out for myself and make my own decisions.”
Joyce says that the result of abuse is often “willfulness, stubbornness, and rebellion.”
We often wear a rebellious and stubborn spirit as a badge of honor and strength on our chest, but the Bible is clear about what these things are to God and the results of such a spirit. For me rebellion and stubbornness often plays out of distrust, and in times of struggle I can go to God and share with Him that I fear even trusting Him. It’s ok to tell God that we are afraid of what He will ask of us if we obey, we are afraid of what will come out of the situation, we are afraid of what others will think, etc…He can handle our fears, and by coming to Him with our fears, we begin laying ourselves on the altar. He can work with that; He can and will change our hearts if we will let Him.
“You might feel that you have inherited some bad habits and character flaws through your bloodline, but the blood of Jesus, when applied to your life by faith, is able to erase the adverse effects of natural inheritance.” (Joyce Meyer)