Wednesday, December 7, 2022
“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 heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV)
In the Old Testament, we find the story of Saul, a king whom God rejected because of his constant wickedness. God instructed him to go into battle and destroy his enemies completely, along with their livestock. But after defeating his enemies on the battlefield, Saul saw some sheep and cattle and decided to keep them for himself.
Afterward, when the prophet Samuel went to meet him, Saul greeted the prophet and said, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord” (1 Samuel 15:13 NKJV).
Samuel replied, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” (verse 14 NKJV).
In effect, Saul told him, “Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I saved those for the Lord. I’m going to sacrifice them to God.”
Samuel said, “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 heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV).
Samuel was saying that foremost, God wanted Saul’s obedience. Our worship, praise, giving, and service are fine, but obedience comes first.
Let’s say, for example, that a husband is unfaithful to his wife, and she finds out. So he goes out and buys her a nice gift. Then he’s unfaithful again, so he buys her a new car. But his wife says, “You’re missing the point. I don’t want all this stuff. I want your faithfulness more than anything else. These things can’t take the place of what really matters.”
A relationship with God, a friendship with God, requires active obedience. It’s more than not doing bad things. It’s also doing good things, the things that are pleasing to Him.
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