"Does the Lord so delight in holocausts and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord?" —1 Samuel 15:22
Saul greatly displeased the Lord because of His disobedience. The first sin was disobedience. Sin is always disobedience. Human nature became fallen and wounded because of the disobedience of Adam (see Rm 5:19). We are saved by Jesus' obedience even to death on the cross (Phil 2:8). Obedience and disobedience are of the utmost importance.
Therefore, it is important for us to know why we disobey. This can help us accept God's grace to obey. Samuel implied that Saul disobeyed because Saul was little in his own esteem (1 Sm 15:17). Saul did not respect and love himself. In fact, he probably hated himself. When we do not love ourselves, we will not love our neighbor (cf Lk 10:27). This means we do not love God. In this situation, we are easily manipulated into disobeying so as to make ourselves feel better. Consequently, if the devil can get us to not love ourselves, he can drive us to disobedience and ruin us.
This explains why the devil accuses us day and night (Rm 12:10). He repeatedly throws "fiery darts" at us to put us down and degrade us (Eph 6:16). However, if we have given our lives totally to Jesus, we can hold faith up as a shield (Eph 6:16). Then we do not listen to the devil. We love ourselves in Christ and are not easily manipulated into disobedience. Believe Jesus, not the devil. Obey Jesus, not the devil.
Prayer: Father, may I see obedience and disobedience as You do.
Promise: "The day will come, however, when the Groom will be taken away from them; on that day they will fast." —Mk 2:20
Praise: Christian brothers and sisters have helped Sarah learn how to love both herself and others.
Reference: (Presentation Ministries retreats offer a time to be immersed in God's love through His word and the sacraments. The Women's Retreat: Discipling Youth to Answer God's Call, is April 3, 2004. For information, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail email@example.com)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003