“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” (1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV).
I administer many groups on social media, especial WhatsApp Messenger. Some of these groups have a strict rule of NO POST through the group, and penalty for violating such rule is immediate removal from the group. I always endeavor to make this rule and the penalty known to anyone that expresses interest in joining the groups before I add such person to the groups. Anyone that mistakenly violates the rule and apologizes is spared of the penalty. Some people violated the rule of one the groups recently and I invoked the penalty by removing them from the group. One of them protested to me: “Why did you remove me from the group chat? Is it a crime to say Amen to a prayer?” I responded: “No, but obedience is better than sacrifice!” He realized his error and apologized. I restored him back to the group.
There are many things that are good but may not be right or done in the right time. Making sacrifices is one of such good things, however, King Saul knew better that doing good things wrongly or against an instruction could cost one dearly. In his case, it cost him the kingship of Israel. In the first instance, Saul wanted to defend the people of Israel by waging war against the rampaging Philistines. He waited for seven days for Samuel to come and make the necessary sacrifice before he went to war. When Samuel tarried in coming and his soldiers were leaving him, he went ahead to make the sacrifice. Samuel frowned at this and said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:13-14 NKJV). On another occasion, Samuel instructed Saul to “…go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Samuel 15:3 NKJV). However, Saul spared Agag, the Amalekite king, “and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good” (verse 9 NKJV). He claimed later that he wanted to use the robust animals for sacrifice. Samuel told him pointblank: “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” (1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV).
What are those seemingly good things you are doing that are against the rule? No matter how good they may seemingly be, doing them may cost you a fortune if you do not follow the rule. Do not underestimate any rule. Obedience is far better than any sacrifice no matter how good the sacrifice may be.
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Pray that you will always be obedient to lay down rules rather than doing any seemingly good things against such rules.
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