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Obedience Haiku

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.   ~ 1 Samuel 15:22 ESV

Whenever my third grandson was disobedient, he would try to avoid discipline by giving me a “peace offering”—some of his tasty cookies, or one of his favorite toys. This grandchild honestly believed that by sacrificing his most cherished possessions he would get me to change my mind about his promised punishment.

King Saul used a similar childish tactic. He was hoping to circumvent the punishment due him for disobeying God. King Saul disobeyed God’s command to destroy EVERYTHING belonging to the Amalekites. Realizing his own rebelliousness, King Saul decided that a burnt offering (sacrifice of general atonement) would appease Jehovah. As a result, King Saul ordered his subjects to sacrifice some of their recently acquired best spoils.

Unfortunately, the damage was done. There wasn’t anything that King Saul or his subjects could do to lessen God’s condemnation. For his disobedience, the king received a fitting punishment—God rejected him as Israel’s king.

Let us learn the lesson King Saul didn’t. That lesson teaches this biblical truth: Our obedience to God always will please Him. Thus, whenever the Holy Spirit reminds us of this biblical truth, we invariably should respond to that reminder by doing exactly what God has commanded us to do, realizing that when we persistently practice faithful obedience we will not have to try to appease our Father with a propitiatory gift (a.k.a., peace offering). Shalom.

 

~ from my manuscript: Keeping It Real: Daily Renewing the Mind