We see the phrase Obedience is Better than Sacrifice written in 1 Samuel 15:21-23. In the Old Testament, they didn’t have the book of Jesus to cover their sins. Instead, they sacrificed sheep and goats to cover their sins.
However, this was a temporary measure. Because we needed someone who was perfect to come and die for us. This is why Jesus chose to come and die. We needed his blood to cover our sins. It was perfect blood because he didn’t sin.
And to top it off, God raised him from the dead on the 3rd day. He defeated death and gave us victory.
Now back to the main point.
God isn’t made happy by the shedding of blood. Instead, he is pleased when we follow his word and directions. If we have to sacrifice it means we messed up, and God doesn’t want that. Instead, he’d like us to do the right thing the first time.
Now for my story and my current conviction.
Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice; My Story For Today
I recently was laid off from my job but long before that, I’ve been in a state of frustration. In fact, there was a period of at least 6 months when I didn’t log into this website. I was pretty mad at God, I believed he told me to write. Nothing seemed to be working.
I was in constant pain because my website wouldn’t show up in searches. Nobody would view the words I’m writing. But God kept telling me to write.
Today I hit a breaking point and started asking God what did you want me to do? Because nothing I’m doing is working, and I seem to be failing at everything.
It was like I kept treading water, and nobody was coming to save me, even when I saw ships all around. That is how I felt, and honestly, I still do to a point. Because God started speaking to me, and I feel ashamed of myself.
I wasn’t being obedient, and that’s my Failure
I’ve had this dream that I’ve been actively pursuing for the last 4 years. I wanted to be a professional writer. My goal, hope, and even dream were to break the bonds of the corporate world and write for a living. I started out strong, writing a couple of times a week, then it wound up being once a week. Then I shifted my entire focus to SnoFallGear away from ESterling.
None of this was what God had told me to do, and I knew all along where he was directing and guiding me. Eventually, I would fall into sins that drove me farther away from God and his voice.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t lose my faith, but became very complacent. I misused the grace of God.
Why Saul Failed? It’s a Similar Story
Saul was the first king of Israel ruling for a number of years. God promised that if he stayed in obedience, his family would rule Israel. but like many people in power (or comfort). Saul got a little prideful.
The Prophet Samuel delivered a message to Saul. He was to annihilate the Amalekites. Man, woman, and child were to be destroyed. Not only that, but the animals and I think all their goods too.
Instead of obeying he left some people alive, and he brought the best of the flocks back. He used the excuse that he was going to sacrifice them to God.
But then Samuel said: Obedience is Better than Sacrifice
Sauls’s predecessor David says in the Psalms that God doesn’t delight in burnt offerings. And that confirms what is being said here.
Obedience is Better than Sacrifice
One of the beauties of living under grace is the ability to have second chances. (Keep in mind Saul had many chances). I was complaining and whining to God today.
I kept thinking about the treading water analogy, and how I couldn’t seem to catch a break. Every time something good happens to me, 10 bad things hit me.
That’s when God smacked me, it felt quite literal. My bible was sitting to the right of me, and I opened it to Haggai 2 Verse 19. This is what I read
19 I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn.[a] You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.”Haggai 2:19
I thought to myself why now? Then I read the previous verse. In verse 18 they had finally laid the foundation of the temple. They had waited years to do this. This was the reason they returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, and they didn’t accomplish their mission.
This is what God had called them to do, and they just went about their daily lives.
This is what I’ve been doing, and this is what Saul had been doing. Who knows, maybe it’s what you’ve been doing too.
My hard hasn’t hardened yet, but I know Sauls did. If you’re still reading this it means you’re still trying to find your way.
Maybe you’re treading water, and feel like you’re about to drown, or perhaps you feel God hasn’t fulfilled his promises.
I urge you to go back, remember what God told you, and ask yourself.
Did I give it my all?
Because I know I haven’t been. This blog is 4 years old, and I only have 120 posts on it. I bet 1/3 of them are in the last 6 months as well.
If God isn’t blessing your endeavor, either he didn’t tell you to do it, or you’re not doing it his way. That’s the only way you can make it work.
Give up your pride, and surrender to him. He’ll guide you on your path. I’m speaking to myself here.