Looking for obedience is better than sacrifice bible verse and sermon?
Today, I’d want to examine what the Bible has to say regarding two critical components of our Christian lives. The first is ‘obedience,’ and the second is ‘sacrifice.’ These two components are necessary for a faith-filled relationship with Jesus Christ. Although both characteristics are equally vital, which do you think would be more appealing to God if you had to choose between the two? When we examine what the Bible says, it is evident that obedience is preferable to sacrifice. Let’s start with the most important verse for today’s lesson.
1 Samuel 15:22–23; “Does the LORD take as much pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as he is doing in obeying his voice? To obey is better than sacrifice, and obeying is better than ram fat. For presumption is as iniquity and idolatry, and rebellion is like divination. He has also rejected you asking because you have rejected the LORD’s revelation.
What Does 1 Samuel 15:22 Mean When It Says “Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice”?
Saul had a bad track record when it came to wisdom. When Saul presumptuously put up a burned offering instead of waiting for Samuel, Samuel called him out on his folly.
Saul later made a hasty decision that nearly cost his son Jonathan his life. Then, via Samuel, God delivered Saul a precise order (1 Samuel 15:1-3). The Amalekites had attacked Israel more than 400 years previously when God’s people were helpless (Ex. 17:14-16, Deut 25:17-19).
The Amalekites’ wickedness did not fade with time, and God did not forget their onslaught. Saul was commanded to attack the Amalekites and completely destroy whatever they owned. Rather than obeying God, Saul kept evil King Agag alive as a prisoner, as well as the best of the enemy’s cattle and animals (15:7-9).
Saul may have sought to present Agag to the Israelites as a trophy—a defeated foe. Or maybe he just felt sorry for Agag. In 1 Samuel 15:9, the word “spared” implies “to commiserate or have pity.” Perhaps he considered Agag as a worthy opponent.
Whatever the case, Saul disobeyed God. He reasoned that God would be pleased if the sheep and cattle were saved. He implied that he was saving the best of the worst as a “sacrifice” to God.
“Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice Bible Verse And Sermon,” Samuel told Saul.
When questioned by the prophet Samuel, Saul denied his disobedience. “I followed the Lord’s instructions,” he declared (1 Sam. 15:13). It was a ridiculous allegation, given Samuel’s observations of sheep bleating and animals lowing.
Then Saul made excuses by blaming others. “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in following the Lord?” Samuel said, possibly cutting Saul to the heart. Obedience is preferable to sacrifice, and heeding is preferable to ram fat” (1 Sam. 15:22).
“For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and arrogance is like the evil of idolatry,” Samuel continued (1 Sam. 15:23). Samuel linked disobedience to paganism and witchcraft because it is rebellion against God. It was also linked to Saul’s prideful heart in his situation.
Saul came to the conclusion that he knew more than God. Idolatry, or self-worship, is the root of all revolt. “Because you rejected the Lord’s message, he has rejected you asking,” Samuel explained. God removed Saul’s throne and ended his dynasty (1 Samuel 13:14; 15:28).
However, the rebellion was not Saul’s sole transgression. Fear of man—and a desire for their praise—overrode God’s priority of obedience for Saul. In verse 24, he admits to having sinned: “I have sinned.” I disobeyed the Lord’s order as well as your directions. Because I was scared of the men, I gave in.” Saul was frightened of losing the admiration of the people. “Please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel,” he urged even as he admitted, “I have sinned” (1 Sam. 15:30).
The Pharisees’ attitude was denounced by Jesus (Matt.6). He claimed that they participated in religious events solely to appear devout in front of others. It’s not that various “offerings” are wrong, but when we undertake good deeds or spiritual disciplines while ignoring God’s direct mandates, or when we put on a show of works to gain favor from others, our sacrifices are a charade.
Why did Samuel make such a point of confronting Saul about his sin?
Samuel was both angered and heartbroken by Saul’s wrongdoing when God spoke to him and said He regretted making him king. Samuel, on the other hand, was God’s prophet, and he knew why God was angry with the king. Samuel had no choice but to disclose the truth and confront Saul. Then he did what Saul refused to do: he killed cruel Agag.
There was no sign that Saul desired to walk in relationship to God, whether he was simply remorseful for his wrongdoing or sincerely repented. Samuel’s counsel was lost as a result of Saul’s disobedience—”Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death” (1 Sam. 15:35). They didn’t have much in common anymore.
Saul was self-righteous, whereas pious Samuel was only concerned with God’s glory. “He would not compromise his convictions for the sake of preserving the favor of a monarch,” author R. Steele stated of Samuel, and Samuel’s absence “would be a perpetual reproof” to Saul of his rebellion and disobedience.
Some say Saul was a non-believer. It’s difficult to say; only God has access to the human heart (1 Sam. 16:7). Saul’s immoral history makes us wonder if he even knew God. Saul was visited by evil spirits, sought to murder David and Jonathan, ordered the slaughter of innocent priests and their families, and consulted a witch, in addition to his disobedience and presumption in presenting a sacrifice that only Israel’s priests were allowed to give. In the end, he took his own life.
The Bible, on the other hand, indicates that the Lord’s Spirit descended upon Saul in a strong manner. He prophesied and was “transformed” into someone else (1 Sam. 10). However, it’s unclear whether that was a changed heart that would fit him for the rest of his life. It’s possible that God merely prepared Saul to submit to Samuel and overcome his apprehension about becoming king. Despite the fact that God picked Saul to rule His people, the stupid king walked in his flesh until his death.
What Are the Different Ways in Which Believers Can Be Disobedient?
“It is no new thing for Christians to know their duty, to have their conscience enlightened about it, and yet to neglect it,” Charles Spurgeon stated in 1866.
What are the responsibilities that we might overlook? Certainly, we must obey everything God has instructed us to obey in His Word. “Is there one portion of Scripture that you are afraid to look at because you have neglected it?” Spurgeon inquired. “Then let Samuel’s voice speak to you, and it will lead you to seek greater favor, for ‘to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.’”
Every heart contains seeds of rebellion against God’s Word and will, which we must eradicate (Rom. 3, Rom. 8). Many specific directives are given by God. Our self-sacrifice of time, talent, and fortune will not compensate for our failure to obey. “The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you make up opportunities to sacrifice yourself,” Oswald Chambers remarked.
When there is no direct order, the Holy Spirit often presses truth principles on our hearts to obey, such as Philippians 4:4-9 and Ephesians 4:22-32. Our instructor is the Holy Spirit, and He will never lead us in a way that contradicts Scripture.
“It is a great thing to be obedient as a little child, and willing to be taught by God; but it is still a much more blessed thing, after one has been taught, to go at once and carry out the lesson which the Master has whispered in the ear,” Spurgeon stated. Another way to describe “obey” is to “carry out the lesson.”
What Does It Mean for a Believer to Say “Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice”?
Christian children are frequently taught the song “O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E.” “Obedience is the absolute finest method to show that you believe, Doing exactly what the Lord demands, doing it gladly,” says one of the songs. The trick is to take action right away—the more you do it, the more joy you will gain! The best way to demonstrate that you believe is to obey.” That song teaches three simple concepts.
1. Practice IMMEDIATE obedience – Obey the Word and the Spirit as soon as possible. “Young toddlers understand fast what disobedience is—failing to follow a parent’s directions,” wrote theologian Charles Hodge. The concept of delayed obedience is a more difficult concept to grasp, yet it is nonetheless crucial. “It’s just a question of priorities: the parents’ vs the child’s,” Hodge explained. Delayed obedience is when someone performs a task later than it is expected. For us, God’s top priority is quick obedience.
“Does it make sense to pray for direction regarding the future if we are not obedient in the issue that lies before us today?” Elisabeth Elliot asked. … Do what God instructs you to do right now, and trust that He will show you what to do next.”
2. Practice COMPLETE Obedience – Obedience must not only be prompt but also complete. “God ordered King Saul to do something very particular,” Revive Our Hearts founder Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth stated. Saul’s decisions reveal something significant. Disobedience is disobedience in part.”
Samuel declared Saul had “rejected the word of the Lord” when he tried to spiritualize his partial obedience (1 Sam. 15:23). He refused to follow the Lord’s instructions to the letter. Even minor acts of disobedience have consequences in the eyes of God.
3. Practice JOYFUL OBEYANCE – Professor Voddie Baucham noted in He Must Be a Follower of Christ, “As followers of Christ, our greatest delight will always be found in our obedience to His Word.” “When the rule of God is engraved in our hearts, our duty will be our delight,” Bible commentator Matthew Henry remarked.
In John 15:10-11, Jesus connects obedience to joy. We can expect blessings from the Lord as we happily obey. “… Be careful,” God warned His people. So that you may live and flourish walk-in obedience…”
“Partial obedience, delayed obedience, and surface obedience to impress others are not acceptable to God.
For the Unbeliever, What Does Obedience Look Like?
In this dispensation, at least one mandate is issued to unbelievers: “Belief on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”… “This is His commandment, that we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31; 1 John 3:23). “God’s first and major commandment of salvation is to trust in Jesus,” Spurgeon declared.
What does Samuel’s comment have to do with the unbeliever? Instead of trusting Jesus for salvation, most people strive to provide a sacrifice. “They believe that their own way of redemption is far superior to any that the Almighty could conceive,” Spurgeon explained, “and thus they offer their fat of rams.” This can take many various shapes, but the fundamental remains the same.” No matter how self-sacrificial, will not save us (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Attempts by mankind to impress God through financial gifts, church attendance, humanitarian assistance, and other means—in order to gain salvation—are actually disobedience. “All you can accomplish in the way of external religion is nothing but the sacrifice of the fat of rams,” Spurgeon wrote. Men are always creating their own paths to salvation, and they will flee anywhere rather than come to Christ and obey God’s commands.” God expressly tells sinners to repent and place their faith solely in Christ. It is perishable not to obey by believing in Him.
While obedience is evidence of salvation—love for God requires us to obey Him—believers will face challenges in obeying Him. It’s easy to become discouraged since none of us are perfect in our obedience to God. But we can be encouraged by Christ’s efforts on our behalf. We all owe God obedience, and as we become more conformed to Christ’s image in our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions, our desire to obey our Father will most certainly grow.
Obedience is better than sacrifice bible verse
- 1 Samuel 15,
- 1 Samuel 15:20–21
- 1 Samuel 15:22, “
- 1 Samuel 15:23.
- 1 Samuel 15:24)
When we put it all together, we can understand why obeying God is preferable to providing sacrifices or offerings to Him: 1) Disobedience is a kind of rebellion, 2) disobedience is sinful, 3) disobedience is a form of idolatry, 4) disobedience despises God’s Word, and 5) disobedience is motivated by a desire to please others rather than God.
You May Also Read:
- How To Have A Better Relationship With God In Time Like This
- How To cast your cares Upon God in your difficult time
- ABCs of Salvation You Need To Know As A Christian
Sources of Reference: