“So 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
The above scripture is part of a story in which God gives specific orders to the first king of Israel, instructing him to destroy the enemies of Israel. King Saul, thought it best to do partly what God told him and part what he thought was best. He failed God that day. He spared King Agag, the leader of the Amalekites. In doing so, God rejected him as king over Israel and prepared someone in his place to lead the Israelites. Though Saul later tried to justify his actions and repent of his sin against God, it was too late. God regretted having made him king over His people.
Sometimes it’s that way with us. God gives us specific instructions but we decide to partially obey. Did you know that partial obedience is still disobedience to God? With disobedience come consequences. The consequence of Saul’s sin against God was the kingdom. God rejected him as king over Israel and in his place, God was raising up a new leader, a man after God’s heart.
The Prophet Samuel says to King Saul, “to obey is better than sacrifice“. A perfect example of obedience over sacrifice was when God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. The son that God promised him and Sarah. The son they believed God for and waited for. Despite what must have been going through Abraham’s heart as a father and through his mind as a man; he obeyed. He was willing to lose his son if it meant being obedient to God because he had faith that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead (Hebrews 11: 18-19). God rewarded Abraham’s obedience and told him that through Isaac, all of the nations would be blessed because he obeyed God’s voice. (Genesis 17-22). With obedience, comes great reward. A reward far greater than our finite minds can understand.
God has not changed and neither has His word. He remains constant. He is the same yesterday, today and forever more. If He expected obedience over sacrifice then, He expects it even today. Sometimes He’s testing our faith, our hearts, our trust in Him and what He has promised. Do we trust Him? Do we truly believe God’s word?
Has God given you specific instructions and you’ve decided to be partially obedient? Has God asked you to sacrifice something and you haven’t? Have you tried to force the hand of God in a circumstance outside His will and He keeps saying “let go”, “walk away”, “don’t do that”, “go this way”, etc.? Could it be that God is asking you to let something go so He can give you something greater. Something He promised you? I would propose that it is better to obey the voice of God than reap the consequences of disobedience.
If God is asking you to do something, do it. If He’s asking you to let go of something, let it go. If He’s asking for your whole heart and for your attention, give it to Him. You’ll be glad you obeyed, rather than deal with the consequences.
I’d rather not be like King Saul. I choose to obey the voice of the Lord. I choose to trust God, even when I don’t understand what He is doing and what He’s asked of me.
What will you choose? The choice is yours.
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