To Obey is Better than Sacrifice

May 30, 2021 Pastor: Michael Foster

Scripture: 1 Samuel 5:1–31

"Why is obedience better than sacrifice?
Sacrifice, in this sense, is actually an attempt to gain independence from God. If we sacrifice for Him, then we have put Him in our debt. If we sacrifice for God, He owes us something (or so we think). Sacrifice is a way of “buying” whatever we want to get from God (protection, deliverance, provision, favor), while at the same time remaining independent from him.
“God, look at all I’ve done for you! You owe me this, it’s only fair!” we say. We demand our goodies from God, but we retain our right to do what we want with our lives. We just need to make sure we throw a few sacrifices God’s way every once in awhile to keep him at bay. This is the attitude of sacrifice which Saul personified.
Have you done this?
Are you doing it now?
Are justifying some sin in your life by taking comfort in some 'sacrifice' you’ve made?
Are you stealing and justifying it by using some of the money for a good purpose?
Are you lustfully looking at joggers and justifying it with your abstaining from internet pornography?
Are you neglecting to love your wife and justifying it by buying her something she wants?
Are you not submitting to your husband and justifying it by obeying God elsewhere?
I guarantee that this is a temptation if not a reality in your life. We all have similar temptations, though they manifest themselves in different ways.
We all are looking for ways to minimize our sin. We all duck, weave, and dodge the light of self-knowledge and honesty before God and man; we wear fig leaves like our first parents to hide our shameful sins.
A big part of sanctification starts with being honest with yourself, with God, and others. This is why a church must cultivate environment of both grace and repentance.
Church should be a place where you can comes as you are (there is grace for you no matter your sins) but it must never be a place where you can stay as you are (you must grow in your repentance).
Obedience means all the way, right away, and from cheerful heart.
Partial obedience, delayed obedience, grudging obedience is still rebellion. Such was the case with Saul."