No, not that Samuel. I was meditating on the similarities between ordaining female pastors/elders and 1 Samuel 15. Please note that this post is not an argument about whether or not egalitarianism is right, this post is a comparison of two issues, one ancient and one modern (yet mysteriously archaic).
The denomination that my family has been in for centuries (literally), now ordains women to teaching and leadership positions. Clearly God can do all things, and he may yet straighten out this denomination, but I fear this will end in shipwreck and complete loss.
My uncle and his family still attend a church in this denomination. He loves Jesus and is a shining example of true Christianity, and I mean that, I’m not being sarcastic, he really is a role model for me in many ways. He mentioned that this didn’t bother him at all, because “if no man steps up to lead the church, why not put a women in that place?” The simple answer is that it is disobeying God’s word. There are other alternatives to a lady becoming a teaching pastor over men in the church. The most obvious is that you don’t have a church there, because it is better to obey God than to do religious things in disobedience to him.
This issue bears so many parallels to 1 Samuel 15 that its unbelievable. Saul is commanded to destroy the Amalekites entirely – man, woman, child, beast – every living creature. But instead, he does the more “religious” thing and spares some animals in order to “sacrifice to the Lord your God.” (verse 15) God is so furious that he rejects Saul from being king. The importance of this rejection cannot be overstated. Look at God’s words through the prophet Samuel in vs. 22-23:
“Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience is better than worship. But God takes it up a notch: this is rebellion! This is like divination! This is witchcraft! (which Saul ironically seeks at the end of his life, see chapter 28 ) No, this is idolatry! You have rejected the word of the Lord because you thought you could be more holy! You thought your crappy sacrifices were more important than obeying God!
Rebel. Witch. Idolater. What will God say of those who disobey him so that they can have someone to lead worship? What will God say of those who disobey him so that church services can go on. Can it be anything better than rebel, witch, or idolater? No way, and the verdict today is the same: rejected. You cannot do better than God has commanded us to do.
It does not matter what the circumstances are. Were there spotless lambs and cattle that met all the sacrificial requirements? Was it the perfect day for a sacrifice in honor of God overcoming the Amalekites? Are there no men to lead the congregation? Is it the perfect location, church building, and group of people to form a church? It does not matter. Obey. You cannot be more pious and holy than God and it is the ultimate insult to think you can.
And the similarities between this and the Pharisees empty worship abound as well, but I’ll save that for another post.