Thursday, July 21, 2011

1 Samuel 15 - To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice

LINK: 1 Samuel 15

BACKGROUND

God had a score to settle with the Amalakites (Exodus 17:8-16), and the command to Saul through Samuel was to "utterly destroy" them. God knew that Israel would never live peacefully in the Promised Land if they continued to exist. Yet, Saul only partially obeyed by sparing King Agog and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good. Then, he lied to Samuel about carrying out the Lord's commands and tried to cover up his disobedience by passing the blame on to the people, claiming that they wanted to use the animals for sacrifice.

Samuel's response cuts to the heart of the matter:
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. (15:22)
There is no such thing as incomplete obedience. There is just obedience and disobedience, and Saul disobeyed and tried to put a "religious" sheet over it to cover up his sin. As a result, Samuel declared, "The LORD has rejected you" (15:26).

This was the beginning of the end for King Saul.

REFLECTION

What an evening this has been. I cannot read this chapter without thinking of Keith Green's song "To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice." It led me to the video you will hopefully watch in the application section of this post. Then, George and I stayed up until midnight watching a documentary on Keith Green's life. What a blessing and lesson in obedience! He was not perfect, but he wanted to obey God with everything that was in him, and he affected a generation of believers and beyond. He did this all in seven short years of being a follower of Jesus. Amazing.

I want uncompromised obedience in my life and not the "incomplete obedience" like that of King Saul. I want to be poured out for Him, holding nothing back, without excuses.

I pray you want that too.

APPLICATION

You will not regret watching this video as your application from our reading today. Here is Keith performing the song called "To Obey is Better than Sacrifice." He makes reference to Saul in his introduction:



To obey is better than sacrifice
I don't need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon
But you act like I'll never return

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can't help weeping at how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My Word
Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can't feed

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want more than Sundays and Wednesday nights
Cause if you can't come to Me every day
Then don't bother coming at all

La,la,la etc.

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want hearts of fire
Not your prayers of ice
And I'm coming quickly
To give back to you
According to what you have done
According to what you have done
According to what you have done

PRAYER

Lord, all for You. No compromise. Amen

P.S.

Here is Part One of that documentary:

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