Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Samuel 15: 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.”

This is a fairly well known scripture, especially the latter part of it but let us also read it from the God’s Word translation: “Is the LORD as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience? To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice. To obey is better than sacrificing the fat of rams.” This version speaks plainly about the weight of sacrifice vs. obedience.

Clearly we do not offer burnt sacrifices today so how do we equate this in modern terms? We would talk in terms of “works”. Our sacrifices are more in the line of working at the church, participating in all of the food drives, etcetera. There has never been anything wrong with the sacrifices nor the works. The problem lies in the fact that over the eons we have all substituted the true sacrifice desired by God with all of these other things. We need to be able to speak honestly about works the way the old prophets spoke openly about burnt offerings but in order to do that we must first agree that there is no open criticism about any of those things. Our projects are worthy. They just are not worthy as a sacrifice because what God is seeking is our obedience.

God wants to rule in our hearts. I remember when God told me to leave the practice of law and go into full time ministry. It made absolutely no sense to me. But why does what God tells us to do need to survive our scrutiny? Anyway, it took me a long time to heed God’s instructions. I was very active in church but I was in disobedience and things got messy for awhile. Eventually I got the cart righted and did as I was told and believe me, my life improved as a result. Being outside the will of God is just not a good place to be. I was trying to do all the right things but I was missing the big one, obedience. God was trying to lead me into a place of peace and blessing but I was too busy working myself to death to heed Him. It sounds silly now but I just couldn’t hear Him through the noise of my life.

This shows that you can have the very best intentions and still miss the mark by a mile. We busy ourselves with what we think God would have us do rather than simply spending some quiet time with Him finding out. I have learned that He doesn’t think the way we do so the only way we can know His mind is to give Him time to convey His thoughts to us. Ministers are the very worst about this. It is easy to spend so much time doing the work of God that we never spend any time with Him or in the Word. This is great error and will always end in trouble. We all must be still and listen to the voice of the Lord so that we can follow His instructions. He is always leading us on the blessed path but we must be able to hear Him. And then, once we do hear, we are really best served if we will hurry to obey Him. You don’t have to understand what He is doing or why. Just know that He has your interest in mind. He is leading you to the blessing place, the oasis in the desert. If you don’t heed Him, believe me, it is going to be barren and dry. 

Forget your religious sacrifices and traditions and seek His face. Ask Him if you are doing what He has directed you to do. If you have missed something, don’t fret, just get on track. Your obedience to His Word and to His instructions will serve you well because it will lead you to your anointed place. It will be well with you if you will obey the Lord.

Leave a Reply