1 Samuel 15:22, 23 - Obedience is better than Sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22, 23 (NLT) But Samuel replied, 
What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt 
offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his 
voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. 
Listening to him is much better than offering the fat 
of rams.  Rebellion is as bad as the sin of 
witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping 
idols. So because you have rejected the word of the 
LORD, he has rejected you from being king. 

1 Sam 15:22, 23 (CWR) Samuel said, Do you 
know what makes the Lord happy?  Its not the 
sacrifices and offerings we bring to Him.  No!  Its 
our love and obedience that pleases Him because 
that shows that we trust Him.  Sacrificing 
animals doesnt make Him happy.  Rebellion is as 
much a sin as consulting demons.  Arrogance is as 
evil as worshipping idols.  Since you have openly 
disobeyed the Lord twice, He now rejects you as 
king.  Then Samuel turned to leave. 


Season of Obedience
   Samuel was not impressed. Having 
discovered that the self-reliant king had once again 
disobeyed God's command, the exasperated prophet 
rebuked the stubborn king as few men in Scripture 
were rebuked: 
   What is more pleasing to the LORD: your 
burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience 
to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than 
sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the 
fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as 
witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. 
So because you have rejected the command of the 
LORD, he has rejected you as king. 1 Samuel 
   The sands of time have covered over the 
ancient scene, but our bent to disobey is still 
present. Because of this, take a long look at 
Samuel's rebuke once again. In summary, he said three 
serious things to Saul: 
      	To obey is better than all sorts 
of sacrificial activities. 
      	To rebel is like involving 
yourself in demonism. 
      	To disobey is no better than 
worshiping an idol. 
   Powerful words! They make sense in our 
lives too. 
   Has the Lord clearly led you to do 
something and yet you are saying "No" or "Not now"? 
Maybe you're trying to bargain with him, 
substituting something else in place of His direct advice 
 like Saul. Wait no longer - obey! 
   Is there within you a stubborn spirit 
that causes you to rebel, argue, and fight back, 
even though you know it's against His leading? 
Perhaps you've bragged about your strong will or 
have cultivated the habit of resistance  like 
Saul. Rebel no more - obey! 
   Have you developed the deceitful 
technique of hiding your disobedience behind the human 
masks of lies or rationalization or manipulation 
or blame  like Saul? Deceive no further - 
obey! [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.] 


Where Saul Went Wrong
   When called to the throne, Saul had a 
humble opinion of his own capabilities, and was 
willing to be instructed. He was deficient in 
knowledge and experience and had serious defects of 
character. But the Lord granted him the Holy Spirit as 
a guide and helper, and placed him in a 
position where he could develop the qualities 
requisite for a ruler of Israel. Had he remained 
humble, seeking constantly to be guided by divine 
wisdom, he would have been enabled to discharge the 
duties of his high position with success and honor. 
Under the influence of divine grace every good 
quality would have been gaining strength, while evil 
tendencies would have lost their power. This is the 
work which the Lord proposes to do for all who 
consecrate themselves to Him. There are many whom He 
has called to positions in His work because they 
have a humble and teachable spirit. In His 
providence He places them where they may learn of Him. 
He will reveal to them their defects of 
character, and to all who seek His aid He will give 
strength to correct their errors.  
   The sacrificial offerings were in 
themselves of no value in the sight of God. They were 
designed to express on the part of the offerer 
penitence for sin and faith in Christ and to pledge 
future obedience to the law of God. But without 
penitence, faith, and an obedient heart, the offerings 
were worthless. When, in direct violation of 
God's command, Saul proposed to present a 
sacrifice of that which God had devoted to 
destruction, open contempt was shown for the divine 
authority. The service would have been an insult to 
Heaven. Yet with the sin of Saul and its result 
before us, how many are pursuing a similar course. 
While they refuse to believe and obey some 
requirement of the Lord, they persevere in offering up 
to God their formal services of religion. There 
is no response of the Spirit of God to such 
service. No matter how zealous men may be in their 
observance of religious ceremonies, the Lord cannot 
accept them if they persist in willful violation of 
one of His commands.  
   "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, 
and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." 
Rebellion originated with Satan, and all rebellion 
against God is directly due to satanic influence. 
Those who set themselves against the government of 
God have entered into an alliance with the 
archapostate, and he will exercise his power and cunning 
to captivate the senses and mislead the 
understanding. He will cause everything to appear in a 
false light. Like our first parents, those who are 
under his bewitching spell see only the great 
benefits to be received by transgression.  
   No stronger evidence can be given of 
Satan's delusive power than that many who are thus 
led by him deceive themselves with the belief 
that they are in the service of God. When Korah, 
Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against the authority of 
Moses, they thought they were opposing only a human 
leader, a man like themselves; and they came to 
believe that they were verily doing God service. But 
in rejecting God's chosen instrument they 
rejected Christ; they insulted the Spirit of God. So, 
in the days of Christ, the Jewish scribes and 
elders, who professed great zeal for the honor of 
God, crucified His Son. The same spirit still 
exists in the hearts of those who set themselves to 
follow their own will in opposition to the will of 
God.  PP 632-635 


   Spiritual disciplines can open a door for 
God to work and can nourish a relationship with 
him. That is why God instituted circumcision and 
the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, and 
baptism and the Lord's Supper in the New Testament. 
But spiritual disciplines can decline into 
legalistic rituals when we remove our heart from the 
practice. If a person's heart is far from God, these 
disciplines become meaningless motions. Spiritual 
disciplines are only helpful if they are motivated by 
love for God.  
   God didn't want the Israelites' rituals. 
He wanted their hearts. The people's sacrifices 
had become mere ritual, and God refused to 
accept them.  
   We have disciplines, too: attending 
church, observing a regular quiet time, celebrating 
Christian holidays, and praying before meals. Because 
they are repeated often, they can drive God's 
lessons deep within us. But rituals can be abused. 
We should not reject the disciplines of our 
worship, but we must be careful to remember why we do 
them. Why do you worship? What is the motive 
behind your sacrifices and offerings? [One Year NLT 
SB re Hosea 8:13] 


1 Samuel 15:22,23 - Obedience vs Sacrifice



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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