A “Little” Sin Can Have BIG Consequences

A “Little” Sin Can Have BIG Consequences
1 Samuel 15:9

AUDIO: Listen to the audio version of this post HERE (Note: The audio file for this post was uploaded to SoundCloud).

1 Samuel 15:9 (VOICE)
9  Saul and the army spared Agag, and they saved the best of the livestock: the sheep, the oxen, the lambs, and the best of all the stock. They kept what was valuable instead of destroying it, and they only destroyed those things they considered worthless.


Recorded in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel is a sad account of Biblical history, wherein King Saul has his kingship officially rejected by God. It begins with God’s command in verses 2 and 3:

1 Samuel 15:2-3 (NLT)
2  This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. 3 Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”

Notice, in verse 2, how God specifically points out His anger at the nation of Amalek for not supporting Israel when they fled from Egypt.  In verse 3, God commands Saul to destroy the entire Amalek nation.  To inhabitants of today’s society, these seems barbaric.  However, in the Old Testament days, long before the day of Grace… when God’s Law was the rule and not the exception… when the sin of the parents was a curse to generations under them.  Such a demand from God would not have been received back then with the horror it would create in today’s society.

The results of the battle with the Amalekites may be read in verses 7-9, with the overall summary in verse 9:

1 Samuel 15:9 (VOICE)
9  Saul and the army spared Agag, and they saved the best of the livestock: the sheep, the oxen, the lambs, and the best of all the stock. They kept what was valuable instead of destroying it, and they only destroyed those things they considered worthless.

So, as highlighted in verse 9, a compromise was made.  Rather than completely obeying the directive given by God, Saul and the army leave alive Agag, the Amalekite king, and best of the Amalekite livestock.  Rest assured, as mentioned above, the motivation behind this compromise was not the annihilation of the Amalekite people.  The motive was pure greed.  Saul and his army kept the things that looked good to them… in their eyes.

When confronted with his sin, in verses 20 and 21, Saul claims to have operated in God’s Name and places the blame on his people for disobeying God:

1 Samuel 15:20-21 (VOICE)
20  Saul (defending himself): I did what the Eternal One instructed. As He commanded, I went on the mission and decimated all the Amalekites, and I have brought back Agag, their king. 21 It was the people who took the sheep and cattle from the spoil that would have been devoted to destruction and brought them back to sacrifice to the Eternal One, your True God, in Gilgal.

It isn’t until Saul is told of the consequence of his sin (verse 23: losing his kingship) that Saul tries to repent and suddenly wants to worship God.

1 Samuel 15:24-25 (VOICE)
24  Saul: I have sinned. I disobeyed the voice of the Eternal One and your instructions because I was afraid of the people. I listened to their counsel instead of yours. 25 So now, please pardon my sin, and return with me so that I can worship the Eternal.

Saul does (eventually) worship God with Samuel (verse 28), but still loses his throne as the shepherd boy, David, is anointed king in Saul’s stead:

1 Samuel 16:13-14 (VOICE)
13  Then Samuel took the horn filled with olive oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Eternal fell strongly on David and remained from that day on. Samuel then left for Ramah.
14 The Spirit of the Eternal left Saul, and an evil spirit sent from the Eternal One tormented him.


How does this historical account relate to our daily lives?  In God’s Word, a command has been given (Eph 4:31, James 1:21) to rid our lives of sin (to the best of our ability) and to live for God.  While most Christians have no real issue with renouncing the most “wicked” sins, a compromise is often made, in that we many times try to hang on to the sin that brings us pleasure.  We may even claim to be doing the Lord’s work!  (See a prior blog post, God Pleasers, for a real-world testimony to this effect.)  However, no matter how “small” the pet sin may seem, the consequence may be far bigger than you would have bargained for.  When faced with our punishment, we may then try to repent.  God will forgive true repentance, but we may still have to endure the punishment.  Unfortunately, the most devastating impact will be that God may never be able to use us in the way that was previously possible for us!

Don’t get caught up in the spiraling spin of a “little white sin”; Open the doors to the closets of your heart and let the Lord go in!

-Dan Rivera

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One thought on “A “Little” Sin Can Have BIG Consequences

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  1. It is very true that little sins can have big consequences.
    How do we know what is a sin and what isn’t? Who gets do decide? It is our choice or do we let other people decide for us?
    If it is the Spirit Who is to lead us, then why does He seem to be saying different things to different people? Do His standards vary?
    I believe there is only one standard to go by and 1 John 3:4 tells us what sin is.

    Liked by 1 person

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