“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.” 1 Samuel 15:22
The above verse conveys the response Samuel posed to Saul (King of Israel) after Saul disregarded God’s specific instruction concerning how to deal with an enemy of Israel’s.
When Saul’s misstep was pointed out to him by Samuel, Saul’s’ response was to justify his disobedience by trying rationalize it with a sacrifice to the Lord.
At first glance, this might not appear to be a big deal at all. Saul was ready to present a burnt offering sacrifice to God as proof that he was following God.
But God did not ask Saul for an offering, God asked Saul for his obedience.
Although I have read this account in Samuel as few times before, I never fully grasped what Samuel was trying to teach Saul here until now.
I have been reminded through this timeless exchange that God has His specific way to do things for very good reasons.
Isaiah 55:8 tells us that God’s thoughts and ways are His alone. As much as we would like to understand why circumstances occur in life, we are just not capable of comprehending the same big picture God sees.
God knows how much fear of the “unknown” in our lives can overwhelm, and even paralyze, us.
God choose to deal with our fear by assuring us that obedience to Him will ultimately trump anything that attempts to discourage or destroy us.
Total obedience to God and His Word is hard, especially in light of the confusing, strange and even tragic circumstances that life presents daily.
When I doubt full obedience to God is the answer to a situation I find myself in, it is vital I remember that I am only seeing a small, worldly view of the situation.
I must remember I am experiencing life in the limited dimension of earthly time, thus my reactions and decisions will be based on a small portion of the entire process God sees.
I also remind myself that God’s glorious plan of redemption for the human race includes my specific and unique life!
Saul viewed his circumstances within his limited lens, and because of that he missed out on the glorious victory God had planned for him and all of Israel.
Saul believed he could circumvent obedience to God by offering a sacrifice to God that He never wanted.
Yet the reality is that anything we give to God, whether it is our works of service or our sacrifices on any level, will only become acceptable as they become an outflow of our obedience to God.
Our obedience is the foundation of the relationship we need to have with our Creator in order for Him to bring His desired plan for our life to fulfillment.
Our acknowledgement that God as our one and only true source of life is demonstrated by the obedience He desires from us.
Allow God to bring about every good thing He desires for your life, both earthly and eternal, through your submitted obedience to Him.