to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
December 30, 2019 – Monday
1 Peter 2:4-8 NIV
4 As you come to Him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him—
5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” [Isaiah 28:16]
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” [Psalm 118:22]
“A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” [Isaiah 8:14;15]
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
The living Stone in verse four is Jesus and as we read in verses six and seven He is the cornerstone and we, through Him, become stones as well, spiritual stones built into a spiritual house. A quick side note reference verse seven – Psalm 118 is quoted there and it is the Psalm believed to be sung by Jesus and His disciples before they went out to the Mount of Olivesafter which Jesus would be arrested, flogged, tried, and crucified so the Psalm is both prophetic and bittersweet.
When we arrive at verse eight, the stone that causes people to stumble is the message or word of God through Jesus who is the Word of God made flesh. They stumbled because they were disobedient to the word, disobedient to the preaching of the gospel.
The use of the word cornerstone tells us why the living Stone would become a stumbling block for many Jews. A cornerstone is used to set two separate walls and to ensure the building is indeed ‘square’ and solid on its foundation. The two walls are united into one structure though the cornerstone – Jesus. One wall are the Jews who believed and the other the Gentiles who believed. Many could not or would not accept these two walls united into Christ’s spiritual house through the living stones of His followers/believers.
Today as then, we need to avoid creating our own stumbling blocks by staying away from the word of God and the company of brothers and sisters in Christ. It is this avoidance of God’s word and others who are living stones that often times keep us from joining together into the body of Christ – Jew and Gentile alike as in the following two verses, one people, a chosen people.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(to obey is better than sacrifice /obedience is better than sacrifice)
* To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22