Trying to justify partial obedience

1 Samuel Bible Background

04.14.2018 – Old Testament: 1Sa 15.20–21

To read the Bible in a year, read First Samuel 15–16 on April 14, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

The Lord told King Saul to wipe out the Amalekites, but Saul only did mostly what God said to do, excusing his partial obedience to Samuel this way,

And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15.20–21).

Saul figured that the way he did things, he could actually obey the Lord more in the future by keeping some of the livestock of the Amalekites for sacrificing to the Lord! However, this proved to be Saul’s downfall. Listen, the Lord is not impressed with 90% obedience!


  • Do you partially obey the Lord?
  • If so, what is your thinking?

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