To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice Part II
God had told Samuel the night before, that Saul had not obeyed God and as a result, God rejected him.
So with an aching heart, Samuel had to reprove Saul for his disobedience.
1 Samuel 15:13-15 "And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God and the rest we have utterly destroyed."
Notice that Saul excused himself by saying that they spared the animals. But in reality, Saul was the one to command that the animals be spared. How often do as sinful humans always want to cast the blame of our sin on someone else!
Then Saul said something totally different,"I have sinned for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again me that I may worship the Lord."
Saul totally changed his tune, because he feared that if Samuel rejected him, he would lose the people's allegiance which he so much coveted. Had he been truly repentant, he would have made public confession that he was wrong. But sadly he loved his position of authority more than he loved God.
Do we consider it more important what people think about us than what our our Lord thinks of us? When we do that, we are worshiping ourselves rather than God!
When you think about it, when Saul spared the animals for sacrifice, he had lost the true meaning of sacrifice. Every sacrifice represented Christ's sacrifice for us and repentance on the part of the offerer.
This shows that if we go to church, pay tithe and do all the right things,yet if we don't come with penitent hearts, it avails absolutely nothing to God!
Isaiah 1:14-17 says,"Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash ye, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."
What the Lord wants
from us is not dead formalism, but He wants the true evidence that we are His by
showing true love to others by willing service!
If all the 'good things' we do are not actuated by love to the Lord, and the good deeds are only done because we want others to praise us, it is absolutely useless!
All the good works that we do are only evidence that we love Him. Those works do not justify us in the sight of the Lord.