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
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
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
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]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
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
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg:
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: