1 Samuel 15:20-22 20 “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. 21 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.” 22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Outside of the concept of the physical sacrifices of the Old Testament, this scripture reference might seem a little strange. Imagine trying to teach it to your kids… “Son, to obey is better than sacrifice.” Your son then teaches his little sister, “We better obey daddy because he is going to sacrifice us.” To which she cries, “Why would daddy kill us?” Please make sure to be clear when teaching your kids concepts out of the Old Testament.
Regardless of the potential mix-up, this is a very important concept. In this scenario, Saul thought he was doing a good thing. I mean, he didn’t do exactly what God asked, but he thought he would go above and beyond and keep some stuff for a burnt sacrifice to God. The problem is that God clearly instructed him to keep nothing. God didn’t want a sacrifice from Saul – he wanted him to follow instructions.
We probably attempt to make these kinds of peace offerings with God too. He calls us to something big and we compromise by fasting TV or something. He calls us to stop living in sin and we respond by going to church more to feel better. But He didn’t ask us to sacrifice something, He didn’t ask us to fulfill a religious obligation; He asked us to obey. And we need to learn that following His instructions are far more important than trying to do a bunch of other things that we think are the appropriate religious measures. He is after obedience and He is after our hearts. Start today by aligning your heart with His. Then start to ask Him if you have done the last thing He asked you to do. If you haven’t, start taking the steps of obedience to walk it out.