To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice

Michael Beck

“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)

Sacrifice is what we do for another. Jesus sacrificed Himself for us. Although it is central to the worship of God, it was never intended to replace obedience. Saul thought his sacrifice would offset his disobedience. But God always knows what we’re up to.

Sacrifice can soothe an accusing conscience. We counterbalance what we’re not doing with what we are doing. Such is how so many think to buy God off. They do a few good deeds here, they donate money there, and they think they’re good with God. But what Samuel spoke to Saul holds true for all of us: to obey is better than sacrifice.

God doesn’t want some of us; He wants all of us. He’s not interested in us managing our worship of Him. He would be worshipped in spirit and in truth. He would be obeyed across the board. To hearken is better than the fat of rams. He wants our heart and ear surrendered to Him. “Lord, whatever You tell me to do, I will do it. Whatever You tell me must go from my life, it will go. You have complete control and say over me.” Such submission leads to sacrifices that are a sweet-smelling savor to God.

Look to obey God in all He wants from you. Never mind what others do or don’t do. Who cares if you look the part before men. Be the real deal before the eyes of your God.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.