And Samuel said, “The LORD anointed you king over Israel. And the LORD sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD. I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.” (1 Samuel 15:17–21)
In 1 Samuel 15:1-3, God commanded Saul to devote the Amalekites to complete destruction, letting no man or beast remain alive. Yet after defeating them, Saul brought back their livestock and proudly presented it to Samuel hoping to offer a sacrifice to God. In so doing, he was basically saying to God, “I know I didn’t do exactly what You told me, but look, I’ll buy You off with this impressive burnt offering. Deal?”
Samuel’s response exposed Saul’s presumption and rebellion:
“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. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king” (v. 22-23).
You see, Saul lived only for himself. His entire reign as king of Israel was defined by self-serving ambition and blatant disregard for God’s will. As a result, God rejected him and chose David, a man after His own heart, to be king (13:14).
Unlike Saul, David knew that there’s no substitute for obedient worship that is offered from a humble heart: “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps. 51:16–17).
Therein lies the real difference between these two men. Saul tried to negotiate obedience, assuming he could buy God off with a sacrifice. Yet David knew that God desires sacrifice of a different kind from His people: a humble heart and an obedient life.
As LifePoint approaches God’s throne this Sunday, what kind of sacrifice will we bring? Will it be the kind that attempts to negotiate with God so that we can live life on our own terms? Or will it be one of faithful obedience and humility? Is there anything in your life that would keep you from offering the sacrifice God desires?
Take this opportunity to repent of any ways you’ve been disregarding God’s will for your life. Pray in faith that He would make you a person who pursues humility and delights in obeying His will. That’s the kind of sacrifice King Jesus—the Son of David (Matt. 1:1)–wants from us. Is that what we will offer Him when we gather?
Set List for Sunday, April 08, 2018:
This Is Amazing Grace (J. Farro, J. Riddle, P. Wickham)
Man Of Sorrows (B. Ligertwood, M. Crocker)
Holy, Holy, Holy (Savior And King) (W. Beach, J. B. Dykes, R. Heber)
I Want to Know You (M. Farren, J. Proctor, J. Robinson, R. Thompson)
The Solid Rock (J. Johnson, E. Mote, W. Bradbury)
You can also listen to a playlist of LifePoint’s current song rotation on Spotify.