1 Sam 15:22-23, NIV
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
he has rejected you as king.”
WOW! Isn’t that interesting…so many people have the (wrong) impression that the Old Testament boils down to a list of sacrifices and yet look at what the prophet says here: the Lord would rather have obedience. Samuel doesn’t mince words here. He is clearly stating that simple sacrifice, in and of itself, means nothing. In this story from which the passage is taken, Saul has kept back part of the bounty from a battle in which he was instructed by the Lord to destroy. Saul’s reasoning seems valid: he was going to sacrifice them to the Lord (v.21). However, God sees motive. God knew that Saul was already in process of building a monument to his own greatness (v. 12).
Saul’s intention of sacrifice was not what the Lord wanted. God wanted obedience from the king. Period.
Have you ever known anyone like that? Have you ever been like that? We think that if we put some money in the plate–even a lot of money–that God is somehow obligated to bless us despite the fact that we haven’t left it all to follow Him.
God regretted ever making Saul king. Let’s pray that he never regrets making us His children.