Obedience Path to Wisdom

 Today was a therapy and nurse visit day. My physical therapist came for a morning visit. He had me do something different. I used a walker to go down my handicap ramp and get in the passenger seat of my car.That was followed by some work in my regular wheelchair up and down the driveway. I was just glad our Fort Collins driveway is not as steep as the one at our Lakewood home. It was a good workout, and I think I am still tired at the end of the day.

My home care visiting nurse came by to draw blood and change the dressing on my PIC line. Everything seems to be going well as far as antibiotic administration. It seems like blood work still shows some areas of concern. We hope that these will show improvement by the time we follow up next week with the infectious disease doctors.

Today was the closing for my mom’s house in Greeley. Everything went well and we are pleased that the home sold in one day just above the asking price. (Picture my mom and me at closing with proceeds check)I  got to show up for the photo op and my brother and sister had to do the heavy lifting over the past several weeks to make this all possible, which I appreciate. This home was purchased by my parents in 1973 at the end of my freshman year at UNC.


“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey His commandment will grow in wisdom. Praise Him forever!”  Psalms 111:10

It isn’t too often that my scripture readings seem to have some kind of correlation. This morning I noticed the verse above as I came to the end of my reading in Psalms. I am also reading about Samuel and Saul in 1Samuel 13-15. Saul as the first King of Israel committed two fatal sins. The first is found in 1 Samuel 13:5-14. The Philistines so outnumber the Israelites that they are hiding anywhere they can find and even running away to surrounding areas.

Saul was waiting for Samuel the Prophet as he had been instructed. But when Samuel didn’t show and the troops were leaving faster than Saul could count, he took matters into his own hands and offered a burnt offering to the Lord himself. Just as he was finishing the sacrifice Samuel showed up.

Outside of the man of God being late (some things haven’t changed), Saul gave into fear and took matters into his own hands. He knew troops were deserting him; he wanted to make sure the Lord wasn’t either. Samuel rebuked him “How foolish!” (Opposite of wise) “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you.”

The second is In Samuel 15 when the Lord calls Saul to take vengeance on the Amalekites. His instructions were simple, “completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation.” Saul destroyed everyone except for King Agag. He also destroyed all the weak and poor quality livestock and kept all the others.

When the Prophet Samuel arrived Saul met him cheerfully and said, “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” Really?! What are these sheep and cattle, asks the Prophet? Saul back peddles and says, “We have kept the best but we are going to sacrifice them to the Lord.”

This rationale solicits Samuel’s well known response: “…Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

And as we see in Psalms obedience is the path of wisdom and life.

We can learn from Saul that…

1 – Disobedience is refusing to do what God says

2 – Disobedience is partial obedience

3 – Disobedience is thinking our plans and ideas are better than God’s

4 – Disobedience is toxic for leaders

Samuel said to Saul, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you King of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission…”

When you are in a position of leadership you have a responsibility to others. You may not think highly of yourself. You may even feel unqualified for the office. But if you are in a position of leadership there are expectations that come with the office regardless of how formal or informal. As I have heard John Maxwell say on several occasion, “the higher the calling the fewer the choices.”

We see this principle in the first King of Israel, “as the leader goes so goes the people.” That is a sobering concept for spiritual, political, business and organizational leaders. It also challenges us to make sure that we keep our eyes on the Lord and to remember that “the fear of the Lord is the foundation of all true wisdom.”