June 01, 2021 – Tuesday
1 Samuel 15:22 NIV
22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Above Samuel is replying to Saul who had received a command from God through Samuel in verse 3 to, Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” The command was unequivocal.
A little later in verse nine we find, Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed. They were unwilling to follow God’s command, they thought they knew better. Then the next morning Samuel went to meet with Saul with a message from God verses 13-15, When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
Saul was trying to wiggle his way out of his lie by saying the sheep and cattle were saved to sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel was having none of it. Instead Samuel told Saul what the Lord had told him ending with verse 19, Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord? And again Saul tried to lie his way out of his disobedience in verses 20-21, “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
Whoops! That’s where we come to our verse of the day, Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. And then for good measure added, For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king. Did you catch all of that? Rebellion is like the sin of divination (ungodly prophecy) and the arrogance that leads to the rebellion is like the evil of idolatry. And it all amounts to a rejection of God.
Bottom line: You can rebel for all the right reasons, but they are not the right reasons for they put you in rebellion against God and His word. This would line up with the old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” In almost all cases of sinning, if not all, arrogance is involved where we think we know better than God what is okay and what is not okay. We don’t and we would do well to listen to Samuel, To obey is better than sacrifice.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please help me to keep my pride and arrogance in check while doing my best to do as you would have me do. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.