When I think of purity, I think of Saul and the time he was told by God to kill the Amalekites. God said, “kill man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
Saul sent his men out to conquer – and they did. This is what the story tells us: “But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them.” That is not purity in action.
This instance is what made God regret He made Saul king over Israel. Saul’s lack of obedience costs him the kingship. That’s what dabbling in impurity does for us. We lose so much to gain what we think we deserve, or what we want in the heat of the moment. While we might not “go all the way,” we miss the mark when it comes to purity. Even though we might still be virgins before marriage, it does not mean we are pure.
Samuel confronted the sin
God sent Samuel to talk to Saul. Upon his arrival, Saul greeted him happily: “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”
Samuel replied, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” [If you really did what God told you to do, there’d be no sounds of cattle because they would all be dead.]
First, Saul blamed the people instead of recognizing his own failed leadership. “The people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
[Come on, Samuel, we were going to make sacrifices to God with the animals we did not kill; we were going to worship Him!”] When are we going to learn not to substitute what God asks of us for something we would rather have or do?!
The price of rebellion
Samuel told Saul that, because of his rebellion, his kingship would be taken from him. Saul begged Samuel to reconsider for, after all, “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.”
Saul declared that he obeyed God, although he had not. Samuel reminded him that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
Samuel gave Saul devastating news: “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
Choosing obedience over popular opinion
We choose our actions, but we do not get to choose the consequences of our choices. Saul learned that the hard way. For the rest of his life, that poor choice in disobedience haunted him. Partial obedience is not true obedience.
God calls us to a life of purity. This means sex is saved for marriage; anything less is disobedience. The places we go, the things we watch, and the things we read either help or hinder us in our pursuit of purity. Relishing about, fantasizing, or dreaming about sexual exploits, but not actually doing them, does not make one pure. You (male or female) can be a virgin and still not be pure.
Purity begins in the mind – and is completed in all walks of life. Just like Saul did not obey in all things, we can be guilty of the same.
God’s Word speaks specifically of fornication and adultery as sin. His Word also speaks to the blessing of forgiveness and reconciliation at the Cross – where Jesus makes all things new when we confess our wrong.
There is more than enough Grace at the cross of Jesus for every one of us. There is plenty of room at the cross, and more than enough forgiveness available. All we have to do is come to the cross and confess.
There we find true forgiveness of our past and grace for every struggle in our future. Ask me how I know!
Photo attribution: freebibleimages.org and Pixabay.org