Obedience is better than sacrifice… God doesn't care about how you feel. He care about how you OBEY! Look at your neighbors on the left and the right and say OBEY!
Many people quote this scripture with little to no value but God has unctions me unpack this text and give you some insight on your obedience! Our text start in 1 Samuel chapter number 15. “Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ” So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites. Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.” 1 Samuel 15:1-9 NIV So let’s cut the chase and skip to the capture… Samuel, the Prophet went to Saul, the King and instructed him to attack the Amalekites and kill everything in their camp. Notice in the beginning of the text, Samuel reaffirms his authority and position as God servant by reminding the King that, he is that same Prophet that prophesied to him before as well as anointed him King. So in other words, their should be no doubt about what He speaks from God. Nevertheless Samuel proceeds to give the King a command that he didn't necessarily follow or in other words agree with. Saul, who was King, felt that by him being the ruler of the land, He knew what was best for the people. So he begin to follow the Word Of the Prophet by attacking the Amalekite territory. However, along the way He did what He wanted which was show mercy to the amenities in addition to keeping a few goats and sheep to sacrifice as an offering. Now, granted He had good intention but there is a thin line between obedience and rebellion. the Prophet's commands were simply "Kill everything and leave nothing alive" However, Saul just went about doing things His way. As a result of his disobedience, the Prophet comes back to The King and tells Him because you disobeyed - the kingdom will be taken from you. “Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.” When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.” “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” Saul replied. Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?” “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:10-22 NIV
Of course, that was a hard word for the king to receive but it could have been avoided. His disobedience to the Word Of God created a false sense of accomplish which led to self worship. Notice after Saul victory He made a monument to honor himself. Hints the reason verse 23 says “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Believing you have more authority than God or the servants He sends to you says to God that you have more power than him. Once we believe we are greater than the next man or in control, we ultimately give ourselves over to self worship or in other words arrogance Arrogance is the fuel to idolatry, it is a byproduct of pride. Pride is what kills Kings, divide nations, and even causes angels to fall. Arrogance gives us the mindset to think we know it all and control it all. Which is why when we disobey our parents as well as God, we’re often times faced with consequence and sacrifices. For example, I was slightly hardhead in my youth, arrogance enough to think I knew more than momma. She would warn and advise me of how to avoid situation and because of my hardhead I wouldn’t listen. Well later down the road the very thing I ignore her say would subsequently hurt me, not only did it hurt me but she would punish me. Why? Because I was arrogant enough to think I knew best and not only did my action hurt me but it would fall back on her. Same with God, He has our life mapped out for us. There is a permissive will and perfect will. Often times, to avoid future mishaps and issues God would inform or instruct us of how to stay in the perfect will. However, when we disobey we inevitably fall into the permissive will which allows us to make mistakes, but causes God to have to rearrange time, blessing and so much more so that thing work for our good. My disobey would cause me to sacrifice cell phone privileges, computer privilege and even going out with my friends. Saul disobedience caused him to sacrifice his position. Later, in that same book; I believe it’s chapter 29, after Samuel dies Saul who is still King goes to war with the Philistines and is terrified horribly. He goes to consult the spirit of Samuel the Prophet, however it’s too late. MORAL OF THE STORY: Warning Comes Before Sacrifice!