In what does the Lord delight?

1 Samuel Bible Background

04.14.2019 – Old Testament: 1Sa 15.22–23

To read the Bible in a year, read First Samuel 15–16 on April 14, In the year of our Lord Christ 2019

By Don Ruhl

It is not unusual to hear someone say that they believe God will let them do such and such, even if it violates His written word. Saul discovered that you cannot just assume that God will back you, for God had told Saul to wipe out the Amalekites completely, but Saul thought that they could use the good animals for sacrificing to God. However, the Lord had Samuel reveal Saul’s foolishness and to say this to King Saul:

So 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 heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He also has rejected you from being king.”

– 1 Samuel 15.22–23

Yes, the Lord ordered sacrifices in the Law of Moses, but He looked for the obedience that offered those sacrifices, and in this case, King Saul had disobeyed the Lord. Therefore, Saul could offer up as many sacrifices, but they did not replace total obedience.

The Lord looks at rebellion and stubbornness the same as witchcraft and idolatry.

Questions:

  • Do you rationalize or excuse your disobedience?
  • Do you think the Lord will accept your excuse at the Judgment?

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