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June 16, 2017

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To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice

"And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22

At the insistence of Israel, Saul reigns as King, having rejected to be ruled by God and submissive to His sovereignty. Amalek stands before them as their enemy, and God makes clear to Saul His will. God remembered what Amalek did to Israel, and now He instructs Saul, "Utterly destroy all they have and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camels and donkeys." Could the message be any clearer than that? Amalek typifies the flesh and its lusts.

God gave Amalek into the hands of Saul. Then comes that awful word of compromise. But "He spared Agag and the best of the cattle." Then he testifies to Samuel that he had "performed the commandment of the Lord." We see in Saul the foolish conduct of our ways. We have been admonished to "mortify the deeds of the flesh"..."turn from our sinful ways"..."come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord." But how often we find ourselves confronted with "Agag." We hold onto that which should be nailed to the cross. We measure our judgment by our own desires and standards, rather than by the clear command of God's Word.

We so often are concerned with the sins in our lives, rather than the SIN that finds its home within our hearts, from which all the "fruits of sin" proceed. Through our irrational reasoning, we seek to protect the manifestations of our self-controlled life, rather than face the reality of our disobedience and rejection of His will. We are quick to judge the weakness in Saul's life and the lives of others, but we find it difficult to see these same sins in our own lives. We may be free from grosser sins, but our cares, pleasures, priorities, and the focus of our lives show indisputably WHOM WE SERVE...AND TO WHOM WE BELONG! The commands of the Lord leave nothing to our discretion. We are not at liberty to restrict, change, or negotiate any one of them, but are bound to follow in explicit obedience. Saul, in deviating from God's command, rejected the word of the Lord. God, in His righteous judgment, rejected him and removed him from being king. Partial obedience is disobedience. Nothing compensates for obedience.

What a sad commentary on a life that could have been so different! Saul was in a position to see the outpouring of God's mighty power on his life and his people, but he chose to follow his own self-centered way. May we not be guilty of substituting sacrifices of our choosing to the Lord, rather than walking in obedience to His Word. When we look back at our lives, how many times we have spurned the Lord's direction to satisfy the desires of our selfish ways! We also were burdened with the consequences of such foolish decisions. Can anything be more blessed that walking with the Lord? Can anything be any worse than demanding our own way and walking in disobedience to God? The consequences are immeasurable and eternal. THE CHOICE IS OURS! To choose OUR WAY, we choose the wrath and judgment of God. To choose GOD'S WAY is to live under His blessing and provisions. IT IS A CHOICE WITH PROFOUND CONSEQUENCES!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-06-16


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