During my daily devotion last week, I came across the scripture 1 Samuel 15:22
(KJV) “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.”
To sum it up: “obedience is better than sacrifice”
I don’t know how many times I had heard this scripture and this reference but never truly understood it until now. Before when I would hear this or read it, by “sacrifice” I thought they meant physical sacrifice. In the old testament they would sacrifice animals to God as an offering. I thought it meant that God didn’t want us giving him anything superficial, because he finds more joy in us obeying him than trying to please him with our physical actions. Obedience is in the heart and not our physical actions. (And in a way it does still kind of touch on that, but this topic is deeper than I had thought to dig at the time.)
However, now that I’ve read this verse numerous times, I finally understood “sacrifice” in a whole new light. Sacrifice as in, when we disobey God it’s like we’re sacrificing our salvation. Every time we disobey God we’re stepping outside of his covering for us and he can no longer protect us. We don’t know if when we step out “this time”, we’ll be able to repent and come back to God. A lot of the time we’re sacrificing our salvation over something that’s only going to end up being temporal anyways. Also “sacrifice” relates to how in disobeying God we usually end up loosing something, or being hurt in the process of trying to do “you.” We tend to think that our method of things will get us where we want to be faster, but often times we cause more damage to ourselves this way. So our best bet is to wait for God’s instructions. Because Saul didn’t obey God, he ended up sacrificing his position as King. A lot of the times when we step outside of the will, we end up missing out on opportunities God may have had planned for us. Most of the time if we had only obeyed God the first time, we could have avoided some of the harder paths we led ourselves down, or even avoided a few heart breaks along the way.
A lot of the time the trick of the devil is to make us think that, in obeying God we’re sacrificing the “good” stuff we really want to do. He almost wants us to think we’ll lose out on something by doing what God says. When in actuality we’ll gain more than we think we’d actually be loosing. But it’s all a matter of being obedient to the Lord. If we obey God now, then we won’t have to sacrifice later. If we listen to what God is saying we can avoid having to suffer unnecessary consequences of our own actions. It’s only once we make up our minds that God knows what’s best for us that we’ll realize our salvation is not worth sacrificing, especially over anything the world may have to offer.Why make things more difficult than they need to be, avoid the sacrifice and obey God.