Saul was Israel’s first king. We are told in scripture that he was exceptionally tall, charismatic, and well liked. By man’s standards he was the perfect candidate to be a king. Not only did Saul seem like the perfect choice for a king, he was even successful early in his reign. As good as Saul seemed to man, he lacked in obedience to God. I Samuel 15 tells the story of Saul’s disobedience.
We are told in chapter 15 that Saul was commanded to destroy the wicked Amalekites in battle. Saul was granted the victory, but instead of doing what God called him to do he decided to keep the plunders of the battle. When the prophet Samuel got to the battlefield he was pleased to see that the Israelites had been successful until he heard the “bleating of sheep.” Upon hearing the sheep Samuel asked Saul why he had not been obedient to what God had asked him to do. Shocked at Samuel’s question, Saul replied that he intended to give the spoils of war to God. To which Samuel replied, “To obey is better than sacrifice” (I Samuel 15:22″
It may be tempting to ask why this is such a big deal, but it is our actions that reveal our heart. Obedience to God is really the mark of a Christian. Christ tells us that if we are faithful in the little things, than we will be faithful in the large things.
Often times Christians replace obedience with sacrifice. Instead of just living a Biblical life, they live however they want and then give random “sacrifices” to God. Maybe they go to church once a year, or give some money to a ministry and they feel like that is enough for God. I am reminded of a story that Mark Twain recorded about such people. He tells the story of one particular account he had with a ruthless business man in Boston. The man was known for being unloving, uncaring, and overall was just a terrible person. He told Mark that before he died he was planning a trip to Mt. Sinai in Israel. It was his plan that he would climb to the top of the mountain and recite the 10 Commandments. After hearing of this man’s plan Mark Twain simply responded, “Why don’t you just stay in Boston and live the 10 Commandments.”
You see, obedience isn’t about showing how good you are, it’s about being faithful in the small things. An obedient Christian should be full of love, caring, slow to anger, merciful, and forgiving. God does not want our sacrifice, he wants our obedience. And it is obedience that marks our faith.
– Pastor Jason
Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page