The Heart Can Harden, Be Careful

1 Samuel 15:22-23—And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

After Samuel told Saul the words coming from God, Saul still justified himself and tried to shift the blame onto his men. He added that they wanted to sacrifice the animals to God. Caught in the act, yet he makes it increasingly worse with lies and pointing the finger at others. Finally, Samuel cuts to the chase. He is not going to let this man of God condemn himself anymore by the lies coming from his mouth. Obedience is what God desires, not sacrifices. God will provide the ultimate sacrifice that will please Him, but He does not delight in the blood of bulls and goats. It is an obedient heart surrendered to Him that pleases Him. Saul had gone from the humble man who didn’t think he could do the job, to a cocky liar that defends his rebellion, even blaming those he leads to saving his own skin. God is not after our sacrifices either. He is after a heart surrendered to Him in humility. We often look for some way to please God with service or sacrifice, when God is just looking for a humble obedient heart. The work the Spirit guides us to is rarely some great sacrifice, but often many little ones. Say a word here, lend a hand there, or give a hug or an encouragement at God’s direction. We often don’t realize when we are being obedient in a way that is pleasing the heart of God. That is true humility.

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