The Kingsmen, a southern gospel quartet, recorded a song called Excuses. I’ve included a link to the song at the end. It’s good for a laugh until you realize excuses are no laughing matter.
King Saul, the first king of Israel, found out the hard way the Lord accepts no excuses and there is nothing funny about the consequences. He reigned for approximately 42 years but lost his dynasty and his life in the end.
“But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.”1Sam. 12:15.
For what it’s worth, my definition is, justifying disobedience with one’s own reason. King Saul wears the definition well.
SAUL’S FIRST EXCUSES:
Saul’s army faced the Philistine army of over 36,000. Many ran, others stood trembling as they waited for Samuel to come and seek God’s favor through a burnt offering. Saul, fearful his whole army would flee and the Philistines would come upon them, set himself up as priest and offered the burnt offering.
“And Samuel said, What hast thou done?
And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD; I forced myself therefore, and offered a burn offering.
And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast no kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people,
because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” 1Sam. 13:11-14.
Saul’s excuses pointed the finger at others supposed weaknesses refusing to take responsibility for personal actions.
Saul’s excuses relied on human understanding fueled by fear rather than trusting the word of the Lord.
TO REFUSE EXCUSES:
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass… Ps. 37:5;
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.Prov. 3:5;
Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength .Isa. 26:4;
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe…Prov. 29:25;
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isa. 26:3.
MORE OF SAUL’S EXCUSES:
Samuel spoke the words of the Lord to Saul, leaving nothing to wonder about. The whole account is found in 1Samuel 15.
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
“But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly…
And Sameul came to Saul:
and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD; I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
Saul blamed the people and refused to admit his own sin or name the Lord as his God.
“And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord…and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites,
but the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.”
Pride produces excuses. Excuses birth disobedience and disobedience grows into rebellion. Rebellion brings judgment.
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
Saul admits sin but refuses repentance. The Spirit of the Lord leaves him and he is troubled by an evil spirit from God until his life and Jonathan’s, his son, ends in their final battle.
NO MORE EXCUSES:
“When pride cometh, then cometh shame, but with the lowly is wisdom…Prov. 11:2; Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud…Prov. 16: 18,19;
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith,
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;
purify your hearts, ye double minded…
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:6-8,10.
No excuse tempts the Lord to overlook sin.
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;
which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,
and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”Heb. 1-4.
When are you tempted to offer God excuses instead of obedience?
How do you overcome the temptation?
Check out, www.lyricsbos.com/the-kingsmen-excuses for the lyrics.