Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Wednesday, February 9 - Partial Obedience is Disobedience

“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” — 1 Samuel 15:23

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The Florida International University pedestrian bridge in Sweetwater, Florida, crossed over a busy intersection, and connected student housing to the main campus. Construction began in March 2016. Two years later, as construction continued, engineers found cracks in four of the 12 trusses.

Now, here’s a question: If you were a student at FIU, how many of the trusses would have to be repaired before you crossed that bridge? Or if you were a local resident, how many of the trusses would have to be repaired before you drove under the bridge? Some of them? All of them? I’m guessing that you, like me, would say all of the trusses would need to be repaired.

In 1 Samuel 15:3, King Saul is given a clear command from the Lord. In verses 4 through 9, we find that King Saul only partially obeys. In verses 10 through 25, Samuel tells King Saul that his partial obedience is really disobedience. And because of his disobedience, King Saul loses his throne. Some versions of 1 Samuel 15:23 call partial obedience “rebellion” or “insubordination.”

Tragically, on March 15, 2018, the FIU pedestrian bridge collapsed. One of the trusses completely sheared. Six people lost their lives and 10 more were injured.

So where is the Lord calling you to completely obey? Where are you practicing partial obedience? Are you obeying in public, but disobeying behind closed doors? There are consequences to partial obedience.

— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain

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