“…To obey is better than sacrifice…” – 1 Samuel 15:22
Discipleship, by definition, will require sacrifice. Jesus said that if we want to be His disciples that we will have to deny ourselves (Matthew 16:24). This, however, is not the type of sacrifice that Samuel is talking about.
Sin requires a payment in blood (Hebrews 9:22), but God delights in showing mercy and does not want to go around killing His children (Ezekiel 18:23). So He instituted the substitutionary sacrificial system. The blood of innocent animals would cover our sin.
Our sins are great and many. The Old Testament times required the slaughter of thousands of animals. Jesus came as our Ultimate and Final Sacrifice that would satisfy the wrath of God, and not just cover our sin but cleanse us and wash our sins away. Thank You Jesus!
God does not want blood. He wants obedience. His desire is that we are transformed by His Spirit (Romans 12:2) so that we think, feel, and act in alignment with Him. Jesus said that when we grow in love for Him, we will grow in obedience as well (John 14:15). It is God’s desire that we, like Paul, would be compelled by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14) rather than driven by guilt, shame, or a sense of religious obligation. We are to be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) walking in loving obedience so that we may know Him and reveal Him to a lost, sick, and dying world. Any other goal is not worthy of His merciful holiness.
Prayer: Jesus, I love You. Thank You for dying for me. I ask for the grace to live for You. I thank You for Your sacrifice; that Your blood washes, heals, and restores my soul. Help me to walk in Your love and to become more obedient to Your word. Amen.