Sacrifice and Obedience

A life journal post from April 14th, 2011:

Sacrifice and Obedience

Scripture: 1 Samuel 15:20-23
20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” 22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

Observation: Saul gave in to what his men wanted and didn't kill all of the men- He left the king alive. He tried to JUSTIFY his actions by saying "Oh I did this so I could offer a sacrifice to the Lord". No. The Lord gave Him specific instructions. He disobeyed. His actions were wrong- he knew it but he tried to act like he was doing the right thing. He tried to defend himself. How often do I do this? How many times do I do something- knowing its not what I was supposed to do- but I try coloring it by making it look better than it is? Samuel called Saul on it tho. He blatantly says "To obey is BETTER than sacrifice" He goes on to point out that rebellion is like the sin of divination- witchcraft and soothsaying. I know that at times when I would rebel I would try and act like it was my right- since I knew what was up- I took pride in the rebellious acts that I did. When I read those words it hit me so hard- rebellion is like witchcraft. That is such a eyeopening statement! I had to repent and ask for forgiveness for my actions and the pride I had in taking them. I want no part in any of that. But after that this brings me back to the thought- OBEDIENCE. This seems to be a theme in this book. Samuel obeyed God and he grew and the Lord was with him; whereas Saul didn't obey God and in turn God rejected him as king. How embarrassing. I don't want to fall out of the place God has me in- nor do I want to live in rebellion or disobedience.

Application: I want all of my actions and all of the intent of my heart to be in obedience to what the Lord instructs me to do- complete obedience. I want to honor Him with my obedience.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you guide me in obeying your word. I pray that I stay in line with the plan you have laid out for me. I praise you for how far you've taken me and for what you continue to do in my heart.

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