Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 15, Jeremiah 52, Romans 13, Psalm 31.
1 Samuel 15:22 – ““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 listen than the fat of rams.”
God told Saul to destroy everything (1 Samuel 15:3).
Saul destroyed everything BUT the best . . . in order to sacrifice the best as an offering to the Lord (1 Samuel 15:15).
God told Saul to destroy everything. Saul destroyed everything . . . EXCEPT the best in order to worship the Lord.
Was what Saul did wrong?
Was it not commendable for Saul to offer to the Lord the best animals as a sacrifice and offering to the Lord?
Would those watching not think, “What an honorable thing to offer to the Lord the best of the best as a means of worship”?
Does not the Lord require this kind of thing in other places throughout Scripture?
This act of sacrifice and offering would have been good and right and honorable . . . had God NOT said to destroy everything.
But He did. God told Saul to leave NOTHING. Saul left SOMETHING – even though it was left as an offering. To God, that is disobedience and worthy of massive punishment (1 Samuel 15:23).
Here’s the thing: The whole point of God demanding the best as a a sacrificial offering in other places is to demonstrate that He is supreme and He is worthy of all worship, praise, and obedience. So, disobeying Him in order to do that defeats the whole purpose!
What is more, the reason God has great delight in our obedience and our listening is because He delights in communicating with His people. He delights in relationship. He takes great joy in conversing with His children!
It is a GLORIOUS thing that God didn’t accept Saul’s offering. Why? Because if He had accepted it, He would have approved of going through the motions of worship – without us REALLY worshipping! Had God said to Saul, “Okay, that’s good. I’ll take that,” He would have suggested that it is okay NOT to listen and obey and simply go through a religious ritual.
But God doesn’t want that! He doesn’t want some religious duty. He wants US! He wants relationship with US! He wants to converse with US! He delights in having discussions with you and me.
THE most loving thing God could do is be furious at Saul for disobeying. Why? Because God doesn’t want our religious junk. He wants US. In fact, He sent His Son to be with us (Immanuel) so that we could – forever – be with Him.
What religious thing are you doing that is preventing relationship with you and the Lord?
When was the last time you actually conversed with Him?
How are you at obeying and listening rather than jumping through religious hoops?
Please remember: The Lord has GREAT DELIGHT in our listening and obedience. Why? Because He delights in US.
Stop doing your “stuff” to get others to talk about how religious you are or to get God to like you. Listen and obey – for there’s no other way – to be happy in Jesus.