Obey Over Sacrifice

17 And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.” ~ 1 Samuel 15:17-23

We all know the saying, “It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission,” but is this the Truth? From the moment that Saul disobeyed the LORD and then tried to make it up to the LORD by making a sacrifice, things went from bad to worse. Saul was like a lot of us today. We think that because God loves us and He shows us grace that it’s better to live our lives in fear of the unforgiving world instead of the forgiving God.

Like Saul, every time we sin and just think we can ask for forgiveness after, we fail to realize that we can’t receive forgiveness without the shedding of innocent blood. Could this be why rebellion is the sin of divination? Because we treat shedding the blood of the innocent as a magic potion that erases all of our sins instead of what it truly is, a sacrifice. Obedience is better than sacrifice, not because God wants mindless robots following Him but because He doesn’t want the shedding of innocent blood.

When we begin to get used to living in sin with the idea of just asking for forgiveness later, we’re spitting on the innocent blood that has to be shed for our forgiveness. The innocent blood that was shed 2,000 years ago on calvary. We have to stop treating the precious blood of Jesus as if it was a magic potion that can just wash away our mistakes so we can live our lives however we want and start treating it as it is. It is the very embodiment of true love, for God Himself poured out His own blood that we might be saved. This isn’t a gift we should take advantage of, but that should be revered. A gift that should fill us with praise and thanksgiving for our God.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Obey Over Sacrifice.

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