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1 Samuel 15:19-23
“Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but took the spoils, and did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD?” Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and cattle, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.” 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 listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.”
When fasting and reading 1 Samuel, I felt inspired to share a simple message with everyone today. Obedience is better than sacrifice! It is a clear and simple message. When Saul decided to plunder his enemies and take what was rightfully the Lords, he made a huge mistake. Rebellion and stubbornness against our Lord are serious sins. In that time, those sins were punishable by death. The Lord took away Saul’s kingdom and closed His doors to him. To have God close His doors to you is the worse thing that could happen to a person. So I started to research scriptures to see why the Lord states obedience is so important. I found these verses below I wanted to share with you all and then I want to discuss how if we are not careful today we can repeat Saul’s mistakes.
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.”
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat meat. For I did not speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: but this thing I commanded them, saying, ‘Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.”
The verses I shared above with you will give you some more insight on the importance of obedience. By just making sacrifices in life does not mean you are pleasing our God. If your heart is not obedient to His word, nothing you do will ever please Him. Our overwhelming love for God should be enough to want to be obedient to Him. Jesus himself makes this connection in John 14:21.
“The person who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I, too, will love him and reveal myself to him.”
If we are not careful and learn from Saul’s mistakes we are going to follow his footsteps. Saul was a religious man. He was going through the motions, but did what made him happy. Saul should have had the Lords happiness in mind before he worried about himself. Many people today make the same mistake. They go to church on Sunday, they make small sacrifices to look good in front of other Christians, but there is no true merit behind those actions. They fall on deaf ears when it comes to the Lord. When you study the bible, the message of being fully obedient repeats itself many times. There is no better way to show your love for God then to follow His commandments. Does this mean that God does not want you to sacrifice things in your life for Him? No, when you carry your cross you are to make sacrifices in your life happily because it pleases the Lord when your heart is in the right place. If you are obedient to what God commands of us, there is no amount of sacrifices you can do to equal that. That is why I wanted to share my simple and profound message of “Obedience is better than sacrifice” with everyone today.
Take some time today and think about what you have done to be obedient to God this past week. Were you obedient to His word? Did you put yourself before Him? Did you care and love for others out of the pureness of your heart, or did you do things to make yourself look good in front of others? Only you can honestly answer those questions. Will God be pleased with your answers? If not, take some time today to repent and pray to God. Ask for Him to give you the wisdom you need to be able to change yourself to be a better person. Ask for Him to give you the love of Christ, so you can have the strength to put other’s needs before yours. Only then will you be able to strengthen your relationship and resolve with our Heavenly Father. I pray everyone has a blessed day today and good bye for now.