Lord, as You speak please help me listen with my whole heart and Holy Spirit please meet me today and make me more like Jesus.
1 Samuel 15:22
What is more pleasing to the LORD:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
What makes a good or a bad soldier, servant, or athlete?
Obedience to your commander, coach or master
I often give this example:
If I came to work for you and you gave me three instructions before you leave:
1. Wash the windows,
2. vacuum the carpets, and
3. wash the floors.
When you return, I have washed all the curtains, all the rooms are spotless and I have repacked all the cupboards and cleaned them out. I have done all the laundry, ironed and packed everything away. I didn’t even stop for a break, I just worked like a machine, and I’m exhausted.
Am I a good or a bad servant?
It might be hard to understand, but I am a bad servant because I have not obeyed my master! I did what was right in my own eyes, I decided how to serve you.
There is a term we use in Bible Study that we sometimes apply to understanding the meaning of the words that the authors use when they wrote scripture. It is called the “Rule of the first mentioned.”
There is a beautiful picture in Genesis 22 that has “LOVE”, “OBEY”, and “WORSHIP” used together for the first time.
God calls Abraham to test his faith. He instructed Abe to take his son Isaac whom he LOVES so much—and go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on a mountain God would show him.
The next day Abe travelled with his boy and his servants and when he saw the mountain, he said that only he and the boy would go and WORSHIP God there, and then he makes a curious statement: “Then WE will come right back.” After placing the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, Isaac asked him where the lamb was for the offering? Abe replied, “GOD WILL PROVIDE a lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the Angel of the Lord stopped him, because He had seen Abe’s OBEDIENCE.
Then Abraham saw a ram caught in a bush and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.
The result of Abe’s OBEDIENCE was not only a blessing to Abe’s descendants but also all the nations.
There is so much we can learn from this passage, but the main thing is that if I LOVE God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, then I will fully OBEY Him, and do all that He asks of me. That is when I WORSHIP Him in spirit and truth.
There is one more thing to see in this passage. Abe said that God would provide a lamb, but He didn’t, He provided a ram. God provided the Lamb much later, when He gave Jesus, His beloved Son, for the ransom of the world. Jesus, The Lamb of God died in our place, so that we could live eternally with Him.
How are you proving your love for God?
Has God ever asked you to do something, or give something up? How did you respond? What was the result? What did it cost you?
Have you accepted Jesus and the final sacrifice who died so that you may live?
O Father, thank You for Jesus Whom You provided to die in my place.
Thank You for Your Holy Spirit Whom indwells me and makes it possible for me to obey You in all things.
Here I am Lord, listening to You and ready to obey! ?????