Obedience is Better than Sacrifice

Have you ever had the task of being in charge and delegating a task? You gave instruction on what should be done. You explained your expectations. You expected the instructions to be followed and the action completed properly. However, upon inspection, you found that the project had not been completed as asked. They had decided to do things differently than how you instructed. They believed their way was better and would have better results. They spent a long time to create the project the way they envisioned it, but not the way you instructed. The job may have gotten done, but had to be rejected because it was not done correctly.

In 1 Samuel 15, Saul had committed a sin against the Lord that resulted in Saul being rejected as king.  The Lord had given the command to destroy the Amalekites.  Saul had not done as the Lord said. When confronted with this he said it was because the people wanted to offer the best of what should have been destroyed to the Lord as an offering.

[1Samuel 15:22-23 NASB] 22 Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much 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. 23 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from [being] king.”

These verses are powerful. How often have I ignored the voice of the Lord for my own ways? I thought that what I was doing was a wonderful offering to God, but by disobeying what He asked of me, my sacrifice meant nothing. It is easy for us to take God’s words and twist them into what we want to hear. We make the black and white of scripture muddy up to grey so we can rationalize our actions.  We believe that how we wish to do something makes more sense, is logical, and it doesn’t really matter.

To obey is better than sacrifice. How powerful! Obedience is what defines the person who lives for the Lord, not sacrifice and offering. It is not always the busiest or most sacrificial person who is devoted, but the one who is obedient to the Lord.

When we choose to disobey we are saying, “God, I don’t trust you! I don’t believe what you say! My way is best!” When we disobey we are not living by faith.

Remember the scenario at the beginning of this post? Although the job was completed, it was not completed correctly or accurately. Details were left out and the project was rejected. What is God asking of you? Are you listening? Let us not be guilty of blind sacrifice based on what we think is best, but let us be still and listen so we can obey the requests He makes of us.