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Words of Wisdom

Obedience and Righteousness before the Lord: Selection from the Holy Tanakh’s Book of Samuel, Part 1 of 2

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Judaism’s history begins around 2000 BCE with the Covenant between God (Elohim) and Abraham. Over a thousand years later, as the Jewish faithful Believe, God's (Elohim’s) laws and commandments were revealed to Prophet Moses on Mount Sinai, forming the Torah, which is the first part of the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, and the ancient writings of the Talmud, embody the beliefs and practices of Judaism. Present in every aspect of the religion is a single, omniscient, and compassionate God (Elohim). The Holy Tanakh’s Book of Samuel is the third book in the Neviim (Prophets), and the second section of the Holy Tanakh. Filled with succinct messages through the depicted stories, the Book of Samuel is dedicated to giving the right directions for those who seek their way to God. 
Today, we will read excerpts from Chapters 15, 16 and 18 from the Book of Samuel in the Holy Tanakh. The chosen stories in these chapters enlighten us on the importance of obeying God’s commandments, as a key to a life of righteousness and goodness. 
“And Samuel said to Saul, ‘The Lord sent me to anoint you to be king over His people, over Israel…’ The word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, ‘I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me, and he has not fulfilled My words.’” 
“‘Has the Lord (as much) desire in burnt offerings and peace-offerings, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than an offering; to hearken (is better) than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Since you rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you from being a king.’ “And Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned, for I transgressed the Lord’s command, and your words, for I feared the people, and I hearkened to their voice. And now, forgive now my sin, and return with me, and I shall prostrate myself to the Lord.’” 
“And Samuel said to Saul, ‘I shall not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being a king over Israel.’” 
“And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Look not upon his appearance, or the height of his stature, for I have rejected him, for it is not as man sees, (what is visible) to the eyes, while the Lord sees into the heart.’”
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