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Better Than Sacrifice

Better Than Sacrifice

14 April 2009

Scripture:

But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NLT)

Observation:

Saul was really hitting his kingly stride. Under his leadership the squabbling tribes were becoming a united nation. Saul continued to develop his organization, build his army, and successfully fight the Lord’s battles. Once-bashful Saul even built a monument to his own success at Mt. Carmel.

Saul obviously had acquired the knack for effective kingship. The problem was that Saul simply didn’t have a heart for God. He’d had experiences with God, anointing by God, and great victories from God, but he had no relationship with God.

When Samuel confronted him about his failure to completely destroy the Amalekites and all their stuff, he excused his disobedience by claiming he intended to use the sheep and cattle as sacrifices to God.

Samuel said “What God wants is submitted obedience, not self-willed sacrifice!”

Application:

Sometimes it is more appealing to ego and self-will to make the dramatic sacrifice of giving something up or of working extra hard or of being more disciplined, than simply listening to God’s voice and doing what God says to do.

I want to maintain such a relationship with God that I can tell the difference between submitted obedience and self-willed sacrifice.

Prayer:

Father, May I not be driven by self-willed sacrifice and self-honoring service. Please help me to be simply submitted to your will and simply obedient to your voice. May my service and sacrifice be pleasing to you and produce lasting fruit for your kingdom. Amen.

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