Bible Study Day 18: Better Than Sacrifice

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I Samuel 3 – 16

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22 “…Is there as much delight for Yahweh in burnt offerings and sacrifices as there is in obeying Yahweh? Look! To obey is better than sacrifice…”

I Samuel 15

Introduction

Far too often as we cherry pick through the Bible, we come across things we like and convince ourselves that these are the things God wants us to do since we’re a Christian. It’s a trap we fall into because sometimes we find Christ’s commands too demanding and we seek for something to do that fits into our agenda. Christ says to go out and witness to the world, and we think retweeting bible verses is comparable. If we ever fall into a situation where we feel guilty, instead of confessing and repenting we try to atone in our way, perhaps give an extra twenty dollars to the church this week. What God seeks from us is faith in Christ, where we then receive His grace and are called to repent and be like Him.

Difference Between the Sacrifice and Obeying

When we were teenagers and perhaps stayed out later than we were allowed a thought comes across our mind, I’m a good student and receive good grades in school surely my parents won’t be too upset. This sort of thinking is juvenile, and yet many adults and leaders fall back on this idea far too often. It’s similar to the eye for an eye philosophy; we obey all these other times, so that makes up for not obeying this time. Picking and choosing when to obey and making sure we’re obeying more than disobeying will not fly with God.

The idea behind Saul’s sacrifice as opposed to obeying God was he might have disobeyed, but he captured the best of what God ordered destroyed and was going to offer it as a burnt offering. Saul was seeking a way to redeem himself and convinced himself that him disobeying was a better offering to God than merely following His commands. We sometimes carry out a command, that God gave us, in an extravagant way hoping that this will usurp not following the other commands. Look! To obey is better than sacrifice.

What we often forget is God’s way and commands are always better than ours. He knows what He asks of us when He asks, He doesn’t need our input on what may be more beneficial. It’s simple to understand we want to do what we want to do and hopefully what God wants to do lines up, at which point then we’ll do what He says. However, we must remember what Christ said, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”

Conclusion

One of the problems that face Christians as a whole is our constant desire to fit God into our plans. If it’s not convenient, we convince ourselves God’s commands are not what he demands of us, but are mere suggestions if and when we get around to it. This is dangerous because we may go our whole life believing we are Christians only to find out we never actually followed God’s commands or gave up our lives for His sake. Every day is a constant struggle to deny ourselves, carry our burden, and follow Christ in order to be more like Him. This is the real truth of Christianity. God is not concerned with our schedule or our plans enough to sit idly by until we need Him. If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

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