Have you ever argued with God, trying to deny that you did anything wrong? King Saul did, in first Samuel chapter fifteen! When confronted by Samuel, God’s servant/prophet, to “Stop telling lies” and listen up because the Lord God had a message to share with him concerning his unacceptable behavior, Saul argued that he did not disobey God (v. 15) but rather it was his army that was at fault. How often do we put the blame on someone else and fail to take responsibility for our misdeeds?

Samuel rejected Saul’s lies and explained why God couldn’t accept the captured animals as legitimate sacrifices. “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice.” The prophet was saying that the Lord God wants living obedience from the heart, not dead animals on the altar.
God doesn’t need any of our gifts what He desires from us is a broken and repentant heart (Psalm 51:17). Making sacrifices to God without obedience is only hypocrisy — a faith that has turned into ritual. Christ-follower,  your worship must be more than simply going through the motions! To worship God is to worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24) and “sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).
Saul’s rebellion (sin) was arrogant stubbornness. That was what was controlling Saul’s heart. God put that on the level of evil equal to witch-craft and idolatry. This was all evidence of a heart that had rejected the Word of the Lord. To know God’s will and deliberately disobey it is to put ourselves above God and thus become our own god. Christ-follower,  you can never argue from that position and win for it is the most despicable form of idolatry.
May we learn obedience and desire His mercy and sacrifice our pride to His will as worship and genuinely hunger for His Holy Word.


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