You cannot have your cake and eat it too

You cannot have your cake and eat it too

I, the LORD, will answer all those, who reject me and set up idols in their hearts and so fall into sin, and who then come to a prophet asking for my advice. I will turn against such people. – Ezekiel 14:7-8

1 Samuel 15:9-14

 9 Saul and his men spared Agag and life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs – everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.

 10 Then the LORD said to Samuel,

 11 “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.”

 13 Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the LORD bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the LORD’s command!”

 14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.

A Texas woman was banned from her local Walmart after police say she ate half a cake and refused to pay for the missing portion.

Wichita Falls, Texas, Police were called to a local Walmart after receiving calls that a woman walked around the store eating half of a cake and refusing to pay for the whole item. The suspect, who has not been identified, entered the bakery section of the store and proceeded to eat half of a cake while walking through the aisles.

Once at the register, the woman demanded half off because she was only buying half a cake. Police say she refused to pay for the missing half of the cake despite eating it on her way to checkout. She wanted to “have her cake and eat it too” or at least buy it for half price.

This is an odd yet hilarious example of the old saying regarding excess and hubris, “You cannot have your cake and eat it too.” The proverb literally means “you cannot simultaneously retain your cake and eat it.”

It all seems rather contemptible and foolish. We ask, “who would do such a thing?” Sadly, the answer is we would.

It is quite easy to say we love the Father and appreciate all that He does. It is quite another thing to live consistently with what we say.

In Ezekiel’s day, false piety was rampant. People served the Lord outwardly but not with their whole hearts. Their hearts lacked an all-consuming love for the Father and His Word. Something else filled their hearts. They substituted evil counterfeits: idols. What ultimately mattered was the idols of their hearts. The Father hardly even registered on their radar. What a tragedy. They were gripped by false piety, delusion, and haughtiness.

The leaders of Judah approached Ezekiel, as the Lord’s prophet, to inquire of the Lord and find out what the Lord had to say about their situation. Instead of insight and guidance, they received a blunt, harsh rebuke. Ezekiel exposed their appalling sinful heart attitudes (Ezekiel 14:1–5).

Ezekiel 14:7-8

 7 I, the LORD, will answer all those, who reject me and set up idols in their hearts and so fall into sin, and who then come to a prophet asking for my advice.

 8 I will turn against such people.

Really? What arrogance! Rather than smiling and welcoming them, the Father set His face against them.

REFLECT & PRAY

When it comes to following the Father’s plan, we often go just so far, and then substitute our own.

Father I long to serve You with my whole heart, encourage me to do so. Just enough simply will not do!

INSIGHT

Not doing what the Father asks of you often has unexpected consequences. We reap what we sow. In some cases, we reap far more than we sow. Through the prophet Samuel, the King of Kings ordered King Saul of Israel to destroy the Amalekites, their sworn enemy. But Saul thought he knew better than the Father. He did what he thought was just enough but did not fully comply. Rather than carry out the Father’s plan, he substituted his own.

Saul spared Agag and had his troops set aside the best animals, destroying only the worthless and weak. When confronted Saul rationalized and gave excuses. His soldiers made him do it. But it was for a very good purpose, to sacrifice to the Lord. Saul’s blame shifting is disquietingly reminiscent of things in our own lives is it not?

1 Samuel 15:9-28

 9 Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs – everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.

 13 Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the LORD bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the LORD’s command!”

 14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.

I can just imagine what Saul said next rather sheepishly, “Oh that! You hear that?” He took no personal responsibility, rather he blamed others.

 15 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. We have destroyed everything else.”

 18 And the LORD sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’

 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the LORD? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the LORD’s sight?”

 20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else.

 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”

 22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

 24 Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the LORD’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded.

 25 But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the LORD.”

 28 And Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else – one who is better than you.

The Father’s standards are not ours; the Father’s ways are not our ways. What really matters? Paltry excuses and rationalizations are not acceptable to the Father.

What a slap in the face to hear that partial obedience is rebellion and defiance. Worse, partial obedience is like the sin of witchcraft and idolatry.

1 Samuel 15:23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.

Comments, Suggestions, Requests are sought and welcome.

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