1 Samuel 15:22
And 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 listen than the fat of rams.
From time to time one of our children will come up to us and make a nice compliment. Something like, “You know dad, you are a great dad” or “Hey mom, you’re looking nice today.” The first thing that pops into every parent’s mind when they hear something like this out of a child is, “Okay, what do you want from me?!” I start weighing all the options in my mind: is it money, a sleepover with a friend, want to go out tonight and need my permission, what is it? To be fair to our children, we did the same thing when we were kids. I can remember buttering up my mom whenever I wanted to buy something or go somewhere with my friends.
Some treat our loving Heavenly Father the same way. Half-hearted praise, attending church a few Sundays, throwing a $20 bill in the offering, or committing to serve one day in a mission ministry don’t atone for a lifetime of sin. King Saul was commanded by God not to keep the spoils of his enemies for himself but to commit them to God. What did he do? He kept back the best part for himself and committed the leftovers to the Lord.
God is not pleased with small sacrifices or little conscience cleansing offerings. He gets glory only through our obedience, and true obedience is not a matter of obligation, it is a matter of appreciation. Jesus has already atoned for our sins on the cross and destroyed sin’s power through his resurrection. So, today let’s not presume upon God’s grace by offering half-hearted devotion or token sacrifices. The best way to show our love and gratitude for Jesus is simply to trust and obey. As the old hymn goes: Trust and obey………for there’s no other way………to be happy in Jesus………but to trust and obey.