Obedience is better than sacrifice. I 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.
Words don’t tell how much we love, obedience does.
The first king of Israel, Saul, talked like he loved God and wanted to lead the people of Israel into a closer relationship with God. But his actions often spoke much louder that this king’s love was really for himself and his principal attitude in leading was self-preservation.
Ultimately his duplicity cost him the kingdom, his life and the life of his son, Jonathan, who by the way was the better man. (See I Samuel 31:6)
The next king of Israel, David, understood the intrinsic relationship between saying he loved God and acting like (Obedience) he love God. Was he perfect? By no means. As king his sins were very public and had far reaching consequences. But his heart panted for God like a deer for water. The Psalms are full of David’s longing to show his love through obedience.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:97
I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. Psalm 119:113
Of the 176 verses in Psalm 119, at least 90% of them speak of God’s commandments, or precepts, or law, or words, or judgments, or testimonies, or statutes, etc… The entire purpose of this Psalm is to show the important connection between knowing God and not only obeying Him, but having reference and respect for His commandments.
Two kings. One’s actions betrayed what was really in his heart. The other portrayed what was in his heart with his actions (Obedience.)
It’s no different today. We can’t say we love God and still continually disobey His clear commands and principles from His Word. Nor can we say we love one another when we do not hold each other accountable to “obey rather than sacrifice.”
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25
God does not save us so we can continue to do as we please. (Proverbs 21:2)
He saved us so we can do His good pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5-12)
So which king are we? After all, as children of the King of Kings we are royalty. Do we act more like royal brats or royal nobility?
Photo Credit: Margaret Richards \ http://richardsandcompany.smugmug.com/