God wants obedience and not sacrifice

Sunday service, Michael Ngubane, 22 Jul 2018

1Sam 15:10-23

10 This message from the LORD came to Samuel:

11 “I regret that I made Saul king, because he has turned away from following me and has not carried out my commands.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all night.

12 Samuel got up early in the morning to meet Saul, but Samuel was told, “Saul went up to Carmel to set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and traveled on to Gilgal.”

13 Samuel approached Saul. “May the LORD bless you,” Saul said. “I’ve carried out the LORD’s command.”

14 Samuel said, “Then what is this bleating of sheep in my ears and the lowing of cattle that I hear?”

15 Saul replied, “They brought them from the Amalekites. The people spared the best of the sheep and cattle to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God, and the rest they completely destroyed.”

16 “Be quiet!” Samuel said. “I’ll tell you what the LORD told me last night.” Saul told him, “Speak.”

17 So Samuel replied, “Is it not true that though you were small in your own eyes you became head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed you king over Israel?

18 The LORD sent you on a mission: ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they’re destroyed.’

19 Why didn’t you obey the LORD, but grabbed the spoil and did evil in the LORD’s sight?”

20 Saul told Samuel, “I did obey the LORD. I went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, I brought Agag king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites.

21 The people took some of the spoil—sheep, cattle, and the best of what was to be completely destroyed—to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”

22 Samuel said, “Does the LORD delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the LORD? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.

23 Indeed, rebellion is the sin of divination, and arrogance is iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected this message from the LORD, he has rejected you from being king.

This is a sad story. It started with a blessing but ended with a curse. Samuel asks Saul, “why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord your God.”

Samuel was originally sent to anoint Saul king of Israel and now Samuel was sent to deliver the message that he was rejected. What brought this change about? Why did Saul stop to listen to God. In Genesis we read the first time God regretted making man when man did not do what He expected them to do. Remember when Saul was anointed how humble and small he was in his own eyes. And the Spirit of God rested on him and it was obvious to all he had God’s anointing. But then things started going wrong.

On a previous occasion, Saul was to wait for Samuel to perform a sacrifice. But Samuel was held back. When Saul saw his soldiers leaving, he performed the sacrifice himself.

Saul had become big in his own eyes. Pride changed him. Do you see what pride did to him and how he was hurt by his pride? He could no longer listen.

Here once again Saul failed to do what the Lord had commanded, but he told Samuel he did God’s will. His disobedience reached God and He gave Samuel this message that he was rejected for his disobedience.

Don’t think that God doesn’t see. His eyes are upon you. Maybe God’s command has come clearly to you but you haven’t done it and you’ve been disobedient.

God had a reason he told him to destroy the Amalekites because they mistreated the children of Israel as they traveled through the desert. But Saul was more concerned to please the people.

Have you obeyed the command of the Lord? Have you destroyed the works of Satan utterly in your life? God rejects your sacrifice. He wants obedience. You might have hidden things, but God sees.

Let’s look at Moses. He also met up with difficult things. The people were difficult, murmuring about the one thing after the other. And Moses was always humble and brought the people to God. At one time when they needed water God told him to strike the rock and Moses obeyed. But on another occasion God told him to speak to the rock. However Moses’ patience with the people was running thin and in frustration He striked the rock. And because of that disobedience God did not allow Moses to enter the promised land.

God wants to be sanctified. We must live Holy lives as He is Holy. What in your life does not bring glory to God?

You had been delivered from the mud of sin through the blood of Christ. Have you returned to the mud again, or do you remain free?


German translation


French translation