1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV — So Samuel said: “Has 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 heed than the fat of rams.”
Here we see Samuel answering King Saul.
God had spoken directly to Samuel and the instruction was clear, King Saul was to go and wipe out the enemy.
But King Saul decided God’s command wasn’t the best way and proceeded to keep back the best animals.
When questioned by Samuel his response shows his heart.
Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”
He had not obeyed, but instead done what he thought was best.
Samuel wasn’t going to allow even the king to transgress the command of the Lord.
1 Samuel 15:14 NKJV — But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
And when called to account King Saul doesn’t humble himself.
1 Samuel 15:15 NKJV — And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
It is here Samuel speaks the verse which can be applied to every heart:
“…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22b
God wants our hearts to be so devoted to Him that obedience is our first choice.
The Lord expands this idea by speaking through the prophet Hosea.
Hosea 6:6 NKJV — For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
To be a follower of God, one is to reflect God in their own lives, their attitudes and actions.
God is merciful and He wants us to be merciful as well.
God is loving and He wants us to be loving.
God teaches us through His Word, because through it we are given the instruction on how to live as He designed us and He wants us to follow and teach others.
God became flesh and dwelt among us to teach us and to give us an example for our everyday.
He wants us to follow Him.
Matthew 12:7 NKJV — “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Matthew 9:13 KJV — But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
May we each one be inspired to obedience and mercy as well as sacrifice.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your example to each one of us. Thank You for loving us so deeply that You paid the price for our sins. Lord Jesus, please help me to learn from Your Word each day. To understand the truths of scripture. Please help me to obey Your Word, to walk in mercy and knowledge of You. Lord, You do not want hollow service which has no substance. You want true devotion of the innermost. I want to give You that, every day. Please help me to do so, whatever it costs. Thank You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.