And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams.
Does sacrifice always mean obedience? Absolutely not. Saul’s disobedience in choosing to keep some of the Amalekite livestock for burnt offerings and sparing the life of King Agag had serious repercussions, not only for himself but also for future generations of Israelites. Saul was rejected as king, and Haman, one of the Israelites’ worst enemies, descended from King Agag.
God didn't want Saul’s sacrifice, he wanted obedience! Saul’s “sacrifice” was actually sinful. What Saul saw as “sacrifice”, God viewed as sin. Disobedience is sin 100% of the time. Saul in his arrogance thought his plan was better than God’s. God gave Saul a direct command and he did not follow it. The outcome was very costly.
We should be obedient to God no matter what the command. There are times when God tells us to do something and we ignore it because it doesn’t make sense to us or we think it is impossible. Those instances are the true tests of our faith. Doing what God tells us to when we know it is not humanly possible puts God in the driver’s seat where He belongs. It allows the opportunity for things to happen that could only come from God. The command of God doesn’t have to make sense to us. As Christians our only job is to say, “Yes, Lord.”
Sacrifice doesn’t always mean obedience, but obedience will almost always mean sacrifice. The cost of obedience will be far less than the cost of disobedience. Pray and listen to the voice of God. Obey his commands immediately. Allow God to use you to glorify His name.
Written in service to my first love- Jesus Christ,