"Does the Lord delight in the 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 15:22
One of the hardest things to teach my children is complete obedience. One of the hardest things I had to learn when I was a child was complete obedience. I guess that old saying of "what comes around goes around" is true. I remember the countless conversations I had with my dad and my mom about learning to obey. My wife and I are having those same conversations with our children now. I'm sure you have said something like this: "You have to understand, son (or daughter or both), we love you and you need to understand that we cannot allow you to be disobedient." Or maybe you've said this: "You knew the rule that we set, and you broke that rule. Now you have to face the consequences of your choice." I remember those times when I was a kid. I would ask my parents for a second chance. I would even try to direct them in my own punishment. Usually, I would give up something (make a sacrifice) or try to do something special to make up for my disobedience. Our kids are doing the same thing today. They think just as I thought...that sacrifice makes up for disobedience. I am reminded in God's Word that He desires obedience more than sacrifice. Samuel reminded Saul of this important fact. Saul had sinned greatly before the Lord. Saul disobeyed God's commands, and he wanted to sacrifice his way out of the consequences. But Samuel said in 1 Samuel 15:22, "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." You've probably heard someone say this, or maybe even you have said this: "I just want to please God." If you want to please God, be obedient. After all, to obey is better than sacrifice.