Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice
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.
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his
statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments,
which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and
possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall
not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought
from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I
command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor:
for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed
them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are
alive every one of you this day.
Nothing is new since the above passages of scripture were penned. All the
prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, Paul, Peter and the other writers of the New
Covenant came to confirm the law, to show that God's will had not changed.
In the Old Covenant, when a conscientious Israelite broke the law, he sacrificed
blood (life), to God. Instead of his life being taken for his sin, a substitute
life was taken. This started with Adam and Eve when God gave them bloody
skins to wear after they regretted their sin of disobedience to Him. Innocent
animals were slain and their blood was spilled to replace the death of
the two. God cannot condone (overlook) sin, therefore life blood had to
be taken. However, God, in His love for those He created in His likeness,
who were each given a soul and a spirit, used an innocent creature's blood
as a substitute.
You might say "But that's not fair, why should an innocent creature
die for a sinful creature?"
This very pertinent question is answered in another discourse and does
not concern us here.
So in the Old Covenant, any sin that was committed according to the
rules of the Creator had to be paid for in contriteness and the life blood
of a substitute; nothing less would do.
Moreover, the animal had to be the best, without spot or blemish, as
this signified the innocent one dying for the evil one and was a lesson
and reminder every time it was done that this was a serious matter, nothing
but the best was good enough to replace the blood of the sinner, who should
have died for his own sin.
When beasts that were less than perfect were sacrificed, it was a sign
to God and everyone who witnessed it, that the person concerned was going
through the motions of sacrifice without the remorse of having committed
The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you,
saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not
Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau,
and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the
desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I
will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and,
The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. And your eyes
shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border
of Israel. ¶ A son honoureth his father, and a servant his
master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and
if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts
unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we
despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say,
Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is
contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not
evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it
now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?
saith the LORD of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will
be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your
persons? saith the LORD of hosts. Who is there even among you that
would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire
on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of
hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising
of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be
great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered
unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among
the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that
ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof,
even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what
a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of
hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the
sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith
the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a
male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I
am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is
dreadful among the heathen.
The Pharisees and Saducees did the same in the days of Jesus' public ministry
and so it is today, when people go to church and take communion without
remorse for the sins that they have committed, they heap damnation on to
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that
ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all,
when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among
you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you,
that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come
together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's
supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper:
and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to
eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that
have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise
you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered
unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed
took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said,
Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance
of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped,
saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as
ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread,
and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore
whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord,
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let
a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink
of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For
this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For
if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged,
we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the
(1 Corinthians 11:17-32)
You see, the law of God is still the same, Jesus, who came to replace the
curse of the law with the freedom of the law confirmed it:
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth
pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all
When He gave His life blood on the cross, He replaced the ritual of the
Old Covenant with the renewing of the New Covenant. When we believe
and accept that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), when we really take
Jesus Christ as our Lord, we become new creatures in Him and the old rules
pass away. We are no longer under the law, the law was made for the lawless,
God has placed a new heart in us and we receive the presence of the Holy
Spirit within us. This is an unseen miracle and results in us learning,
with time, in becoming more like Jesus:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is
your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is
that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through
the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of
himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according
as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many
members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being
many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having
then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether
prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth,
on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let
him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that
sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation.
Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly
affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one
another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them
which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice,
and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another.
Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise
in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things
honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in
you, live peaceably with all men.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his
This means that we shall enjoy doing God's will, if for no other reason
that Jesus would like that and we love Him, He is our Lord; so the great
commandment should be willingly and joyfully applied in our lives:
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments
is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
We will learn not to think of ourselves first, when we work at obeying
the law of the land we live in, even when we know of all the graft, bribery
and evil taking place in the corridors of authority, when we believe God
when He says:
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto
wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith
the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give
him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be
not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
We should leave God to His business and do that which we know God wants
of us, out of love for our Lord, spending our time thinking and doing good
instead of evil. And this we shall learn when we study His word with the
help of the Holy Spirit who lives within each of us.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit want a contrite
soul and spirit, one that can be used "through the veil" for the furtherance
of the Kingdom of God:
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For
we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in
them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death;
and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient
for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God:
but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
(2 Corinthians 2:14-17)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always
having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
(2 Corinthians 9:8)
When we, with the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit, do God's work in
this world, we destroy the power of the god of this world, who is Satan.
Many professing Christians play children's games with each other, hugging
the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ to ourselves, going to church and
listening to the Pastor each week, without getting out of our comfort zones,
without putting behind us the fear of the hardship that we shall
suffer as a result of doing something to alleviate the suffering of someone
else, of thinking of others above ourselves; we are not hallowing the name
of God. We are not taking the Sacrifice seriously enough, we are offering
an animal to God that is not unblemished.
Someone once stated to this writer that it was too difficult to be a disciple,
with his work load and responsibilities of bringing up a family, he just
didn't have the time. What he was actually saying was that God was not
important enough in his life, he could give God the sacrifice of an imperfect
animal, God wouldn't notice, God would accept what he was giving;
namely his tithes and his work in the organisation in the church.
Dear brothers and sisters, please realise that we are not playing a
game of football here; worshipping and being obedient is a serious business.
Once we admit that Jesus is the Christ we have come into Covenant with
the Living God. He will honour his side of the agreement as laid out in
His word, but if we treat His rules lightly, playing a dirty game, the
Holy Spirit will continually blow the whistle against us as we mock God
and count the greatest gift that we can obtain as of no worth. On that
day, God's mighty day of judgement, He who has honoured the Covenant
with each of us will judge whether we have been honourable.
In World Cup soccer terms, it is a great honour to be chosen to represent
your country to compete against other countries. If on the field of play,
you continually break the rules of the game, fouling and injuring others,
you will eventually receive a red card and might even be sent home in disgrace,
dishonouring the country that you represented.
Disobeying God's rules, which are unchanged from the beginning of time,
will cause you or I to suffer the second death, we will burn forever.
If you were a child of Abraham in the Old Covenant, you were driven like
a donkey with the stick of the law. If you are a child of Abraham according
to the New Covenant, you are led like a donkey with a carrot on a stick,
a carrot of promises of rewards; but the destination is the same.
Here are some verses of scripture that are applicable to the subject at
hand, please read them in context:
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith
among all nations, for his name:
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience
of one shall many be made righteous.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants
ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on
your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and
simple concerning evil.
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according
to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for
the obedience of faith:
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto
them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith
(1 Corinthians 14:34)
And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth
the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.
(2 Corinthians 7:15)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against
the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the
obedience of Christ;
(2 Corinthians 10:5)
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience
(2 Corinthians 10:6)
Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou
wilt also do more than I say.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification
of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
(1 Peter 1:2)
And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people:
and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.
And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation
of the children of Israel may be obedient.
When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee,
even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be
obedient unto his voice;
As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye
perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your
Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall
be obedient unto me.
(2 Samuel 22:45)
As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover
upon an obedient ear.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD,
he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither
were they obedient unto his law.
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied
in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient
to the faith.
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not
wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether
ye be obedient in all things.
(2 Corinthians 2:9)
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh,
with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient
unto death, even the death of the cross.
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them
well in all things; not answering again;
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former
lusts in your ignorance:
(1 Peter 1:14)