I. Sam. 15:22- And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”
We’ve all heard the term, “Obedience is better than sacrifice!” Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done, because we’re so programmed to doing the things that we think will earn God’s blessing or favor. The above passage has to do with King Saul concerning the Amalakites and the instruction from the prophet Samuel to utterly destroy them.
Then the LORD sent Samuel down to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king over Israel. Saul was tall and handsome, head and shoulders above all the people. When Samuel started going through his sons, the LORD spoke to him and said, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; For God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
The New Testament counterpart to King Saul in Israel is Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul! This turns out much difference because of the calling and setting apart of Paul. In his recounting of his encounter with the Lord on the way to Damascus, Acts 26:16-18 says, And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But arise, and stand upon your feet; for this purpose I have appeared unto you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
To be sanctified means to be “set apart”. In Paul’s journey to Jerusalem, he stopped by Ephesus and called fro the elders of the church. In his exhortation to them, he said in Acts 20:32- “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” To receive the inheritance, one must be sanctified by His grace.
Next time we will talk about his obedience leading to faith through grace…
I. Peter 1:2- according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.