“Saul said, I have sinned; yet honour me now, I pray you, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.”
Thus far, we have considered nine (9) vital lessons of obedience from Saul’s life, and we have realised how critical obedience is to walking in favour with God.
However, we may fail and fall into the sin of disobedience at certain times in life. But when you have failed, only genuine repentance without minding the consequences will restore you to a position of favour with God.
“For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity” Proverb 24:16
Your willingness to approach God for mercy with genuine attitude and actions of repentance is what guarantees your restoration.
I considered Saul and discovered that he admitted that he had sinned. But to truly repent without minding the consequences was too difficult for him. The effect of his sin upon his relationship with God did not bother him as much as his face before his elders. As a matter of fact, his concern was for his image before his elders and the people.
“…yet honour me now, I pray you, before the elders of my people and before Israel”.
Ultimately, there was neither fear nor the love of God in Him, but the fear of men and the love of things.
Do you love and fear God?
There cannot be contrition for genuine repentance in your heart if you do not love and fear God. It is difficult to seek mercy from the person for whom you hold no love or fear.
Saul begged Samuel, please let the show continue; let us give a good impression and image before this people that things are alright. He seeks and values honour of men, yet he is not mindful of the Lord’s honour. How God feels about him did not matter to him, what mattered was how to ensure people feel and think God is still with him. King Saul by his action mocked and ridiculed God. He did not acknowledge his transgression nor accepted his sin as grievous.
Are you like Saul? Whose impression do you value most, God or Man?
When there is genuine repentance, you won’t mind the consequences if a man is truly repented and he is confronted with the fact that he has stolen something, he would be willing to repay it all. This is genuine repentance.
“… See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much.” Luke 19:8
Genuine repentance brings restoration into God’s favour.
Moreover, when David was confronted by Prophet Nathan about his sin of adultery and murder in 2 Samuel 12:1- 20, he immediately acknowledged his sin in the presence of all, no show continued in the palace for seven days, he was mindless of everything but God, he mourned, fasted and sought the Lord’s face.
“David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted and went in and lay all night [repeatedly] on the floor. His older house servants arose [in the night] and went to him to raise him up from the floor, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. And on the seventh day the child died. David’s servants feared to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him and he would not listen to our voices; will he then harm himself if we tell him the child is dead?”
See the disposition of a man that genuinely sought forgiveness from God. It was never mentioned where King Saul mourned or even asked God for mercy. Rather all he asked was for Samuel to honour him before his people.
David sought no honour, rather he cried out earnestly for seven days for mercy. He gave himself no false sense of peace until he secured one from God. He committed the sin secretly and when God exposed him, he did not cover it.
He exclaimed “I have sinned against the Lord,” and unlike King Saul who never acknowledged he sinned against the Lord “Saul said, I have sinned; yet honour me now. I pray you, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.”
David understood that forgiveness and cleansing must precede acceptable worship and that God desires mercy and not sacrifice. Excuse me, when you have fallen and failed God. Seek not to appease God by false sacrifices. It further demonstrates how presumptuous, arrogant, unrepentant and unreal you are at heart.
“For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering. [I Sam. 15:22.]
My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then will You delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, justice, and right, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then bullocks will be offered upon Your altar. “
You may have fallen, or you may have disobeyed God. But having fallen is not an excuse to remain fallen. You can rise again.
“Rejoice not against me, O my enemy! When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me.” Micah 7:8
It is good to have a man who is genuinely repentant. Is your heart contrite for genuine repentance?
Nevertheless, the Lord requires your obedience as you walk with him in your Christian journey. And if you have fallen, the Lord will restore you today in the name of Jesus.