The Offense of Fearing Men

Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” (1 Samuel 15:24)

Why did Saul obey the people instead of God? Because he feared the people instead of God. He feared the human consequences of obedience more than he feared the divine consequences of sin. He feared the displeasure of the people more than the displeasure of God. And that is a great insult to God.

To turn from him out of fear of what man can do is to discount all that God promises to be for those who fear him. It is a great insult. And in such an insult God can take no pleasure.

On the other hand when we hear the promises and trust him with courage, fearing the reproach brought upon God by our unbelief, then he is greatly honored. And in that he has pleasure.

John Piper – The Pleasures of God

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