True obedience is the natural outflow of a heart filled with true love for God! How can we be right with God and live in disobedience to Him?
In 1 Samuel 15:22 we read – “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?” The Lord delights far more in obedience than in sacrifices and gifts. Saul had disobeyed God when God commanded him to destroy all the Amalekites and their possessions, because they had attempted to destroy the Israelites earlier and they were enemies of God and His people.
Saul’s disobedience hurt the heart of God. Saul and his men kept the best of the animals and the best of everything else. [1 Sam. 15:9] Do we too, keep the best of everything for ourselves, and give to God the little leftovers which are not honourable? In verse 12 we read how Saul made a monument unto himself. This was proof that Saul felt more important in his own eyes. His love, respect and obedience for God were no longer important to him! Saul also made excuses for disobeying Father God. He blamed his men for saving some of the best things they were supposed to destroy! Do we too, make excuses for not obeying our Lord? Therefore, God told Saul, (via Samuel, the Prophet), that obedience was better than sacrifice. Offerings and sacrifices were a way of life for the Israelites. The animal they sacrificed as an offering to God, acted as a substitute for their sins. This practice paved the way for Jesus being the final substitute for our sins, on the terrible cross.
In Gen. 22 we read how God commanded Abraham to offer up his beloved son Isaac, the fulfilled promise God had blessed him with. Abraham obeyed totally even though his heart was breaking. He did NOT tell anyone what he had to do, but he took two servants, his son, wood, a donkey, and his ‘fire pot.” Gen. 22:5 says that after they had travelled for 3 days, they came closer to where Abraham had to sacrifice Isaac. “He said to his servant, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there, WE WILL WORSHIP AND THEN WE WILL COME BACK TO YOU.” Notice “WORSHIP” + ‘WE.’ Abraham’s sacrifice and obedience were an act of WORSHIP. Can you and I worship and be obedient like that? Abraham’s love for God was bigger than the sacrifice and the offering of his precious son.
We need to learn to be obedient to Father God, no matter what He requires us to do. “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God…” [Heb. 13:15] It might be a sacrifice to praise God during difficult times, but doing so results in enormous blessings.
May we be willing to be obedient to God in ALL matters and to offer ourselves as a LIVING sacrifice/offering -> “Therefore, I urge you,
brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” [Rom. 12:1-2]
Precious Father, our blessed Lord, and Good Shepherd, help me to be obedient to You and Your will for my life. “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” [Psalm 141:2] In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.