I came across this passage last week and I was reminded at how often we replace obedience with ritual!
1 Samuel 15:22 Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much 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 in 1 Samuel 15 you see a people that had followed God out of slavery into the promised land of Canaan. They had been established in the land under the direction of God. They had witnessed many miraculous events but one of their leaders decided to honor the sacrificial ritual rather than obedience to God’s command.
To understand verse 22 you need to realize that In King Saul has just returned from the battle of fighting the Amalekites. He was given the command to utterly wipe out every living thing, however Saul decided to keep some of the best of the loot, which included many animals. To justify his choice, he claimed that the oxen and sheep were to be sacrificed unto the Lord. Saul chose his ritual over
Too often our relationship with God becomes routine and we turn to the practice of rituals rather than obedience which leads to true spiritual growth. A prime prescription for this dilemma is to seek relationship with the God you serve and always choose obedience.
One of the primary signs of a healthy church is that the congregation is passionate about obedience. As Christians we are called to live lives that are holy. We are to set aside the evil ways of the world and honor Christ by living in faithful obedience. God’s Word tells us, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy'” (1 Peter 1:14-16).
When I think about obedience to God’s Word I am reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer words from, My Soul Finds Rest: “No one can say yes to God's ways who has said no to his promises and commandments. Acceptance of the will of God comes in the daily submission under his Word.” Remember, our great responsibility today, is to walk in obedience!
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.