For the last 7 days at 6:30 in the morning, the goat which is tided up near where I am staying starts bleating.  Bleating goats in a way have the sound of a crying child but deeper in pitch than a baby’s cry.  It had food which it didn’t like to eat, it had water, maybe it was lonely or it wanted attention or just liked complaining.  After days of hearing this goat, I read the only scripture in the Bible (1Sa 15:14) where it talks about bleating animals.  The prophet Samuel asks king Saul, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”   In this context, Saul was to kill all of the animals which the defeated enemy had, but Saul kept the best animals alive.  To this Samuel answered, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”  Samuel then proclaims that God would reject Saul from being king because Saul rejected the word and direction of God.

Listening to the bleating of the tied up goat, I kept asking myself if I make excuses, like Saul did, for not obeying what God has asked of me?  Perhaps even rationalizing my improper actions (like Saul did) because, “I am busy for the Lord”, or “I obeyed yesterday”, or “I worked so hard, I deserve a break”, the excuses can go on and on.  I can talk forever about my excuses or “bleat” loudly about my self-centered complaints, but am I obeying the Lord when He prompts with His still soft voice, am I obeying His revealed will as recorded in the scriptures?  Do I submit myself to the wise counsel of the godly people around me?

This afternoon the goat stopped bleating, it was butchered.   The owner said it got frustrated and tired of the constant noisy bleating of the goat.  Lord, may my words be more than just noisy bleating before You.  May my actions be more than just those of sacrifice, would You help me to truly obey You.