1 SAMUEL 15:22 TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE; TO HEARKEN IS BETTER THAN THE FAT OF RAMS

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD.

Today we will be looking at 1 Samuel 15: 22 in more detail, where Samuel insists that GOD cares more about obedience, than sacrifices and Kingdom service.

‘But Samuel replied: “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 (NIV).’

Your most important duty to GOD is to obey HIM. The most important way to prove your love to GOD is to obey HIM. JESUS said that if you love HIM, you would obey HIS Commands (John 14: 15). What is the context in which Samuel made this statement to Saul?

GOD instructed Saul to destroy the Amalekites and all that belonged to them, including all men, women, children, infants, cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys (1 Samuel 15: 1-3). Saul was not allowed to spare anybody or animal. The Amalekites had waylaid the Israelites. GOD wanted to punish the Amalekites, as a result.

However, Saul did not obey GOD’s Instructions. He spared Agag (the king), the best of the sheep, cattle, fat calves, and lambs. He only destroyed everything that was weak and despised (verses 7-9). GOD was nonetheless unhappy with Saul’s actions. In fact, HE ws grieved because Saul had clearly taken HIM for granted. Therefore, GOD took the kingdom away from Saul, by rejecting him as king (verse 23).

When Samuel asked Saul why he disobeyed, he defended himself saying, ‘they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest’. Nevertheless, it was too late. In fact, he thought he had done something good, and obeyed the LORD. He said, ‘The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions’. It is hard to tell if he was pretending or trying to save himself after realising he had done wrong.

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Saul may have thought that what he did was noble or right. He saved ‘good’ animals to be sacrificed to GOD later. He may also have done it for ulterior or selfish motives, though. But, it was contrary to GOD’s Instructions and that is where he missed it. This account proves that obedience matters more to GOD than Kingdom service. It is easier to please GOD by obeying HIM, than through Kingdom service.

Hundreds of years after this event, JESUS obeyed HIS parents by following them home, rather than remaining to discuss the Law with the elders and teachers. Every year, JESUS’ parents journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When HE was 12 years, they went again as usual. However, when HIS parents were going home, HE stayed in Jerusalem, but they were not aware. They had journeyed for one day without Him, when they realized HE was absent. They went back to Jerusalem to find HIM. They found HIM in the temple courts, sitting among teachers, listening to them and asking questions. HE clearly was having a good time there. When they found HIM, and HIS mother said Joseph and herself had been upset searching for Him, and HE said, ‘Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (verse 49)’. Yet, HE went back with them and was obedient to them (Luke 2: 41-52).

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In addition, the price of disobedience is indeed too high to pay. This cannot be overemphasised. There was this prophet from Judah who disobeyed GOD in the Bible. GOD had instructed him not to eat or drink anything, or return by the same way he came, after performing a miracle in Bethel (1 Kings 13: 1-10). Another old prophet who was informed of what the young prophet had said to the king, followed the young prophet, lied to him that GOD said he could eat and drink with him (the old prophet) at his house. As soon as he did eat, this old prophet prophesied that as the young prophet had eaten and disobeyed GOD, he would be eaten by a lion, and would not be buried. Indeed, this is what happened (verses 11-25). GOD is not wicked. The young prophet did not listen to the HOLY SPIRIT, before going to eat and drink. This is why it is SO important to have the Spirit of Discernment! Therefore, obedience can be likened to the Gold you pay to appease GOD.

You are required to obey GOD’s Word which you receive from the Bible or from a prophet (as in Saul’s case). However, GOD may speak to you through a source outside HIS Word, through somebody who is not a pastor or prophet, or through your heart, and you must obey HIM still. You would know when GOD speaks to you through you heart; even if HE sends someone else to you, you would know if GOD is really speaking through that person. That is where the HOLY SPIRIT comes in, to give you the Spirit of Discernment, so that you can distinguish the spirit of man or devil from the Spirit of GOD. Is it not GOD that says that HE will no longer make laws to be just on plaques and books, but HE will write the law directly on your heart? (Jeremiah 31: 33).  It is very important to pray for the Spirit of Discernment in order to know when the HOLY SPIRIT commands you to do something or refrain from doing it, so that you can obey accordingly. It is no longer a valid excuse to say that you did not know GOD was speaking to you. Moreover, only the HOLY SPIRIT can help you to obey GOD timeously and in the right way GOD desires.  I, for instance, do not remember the last time a prophet came to give me an instruction from GOD. So, all the instances of disobedience I remember are those where I knew in my heart that GOD instructed me to do something or refrain from doing it, and I either disobeyed or did not obey promptly.

 

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Finally, there is no obedience without promptness or immediateness. My mum always says that if she instructs a child to do something now, and it is only done two hours later, it already amounts to disobedience because the instruction was not obeyed immediately. I think GOD feels the same way as well. HE knows all things, and knows what is good for you. Thus, if HE tells you to take a certain step now, and you are delaying, you may never have the privilege of having that opportunity again. I know this from experience. Time waits for no man. So, ask yourself, ‘What is that thing or instruction or duty GOD has put in my heart, I am yet to do?’ Procrastination destroys destinies. Quickly do what GOD has told you to do, before it is too late! This is because obedience is much more satisfying than regrets.

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 May the LORD bless the study of HIS Awesome Word in JESUS’ Name!

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning).

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GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

© May 2016. All rights reserved.  

 

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TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, AND TO HEED IS BETTER THAN THE FAT OF RAMS (1 SAMUEL 15: 22)

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD.

Today, I am creating a new category of blog post where I will be sharing some of the lessons GOD has taught me through life experiences, some of them hard or bitter. 

Quote of the day: ‘Don’t make excuses; just obey GOD.’ Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

‘But Samuel replied: “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 (1 Samuel 15: 22 NIV).

In Luke 2: 41-52, there is a very instructive account of JESUS and HIS earthly parents (Mary and Joseph). Every year, JESUS’ parents journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When HE was 12 years, they went again as usual. However, when HIS parents were going home, HE stayed in Jerusalem, but they were not aware. They had journeyed for one day without Him, when they realized HE was absent. They went back to Jerusalem to find HIM. They found HIM in the temple courts, sitting among teachers, listening to them and asking questions. HE clearly was having a good time there. When they found HIM, and HIS mother said Joseph and herself had been upset searching for Him, and HE said, ‘Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (verse 49)’. Yet, HE went back with them and was obedient to them (verse 51).

Wow. JESUS was certainly an Awesome Child. I remember myself at 12- I was a bit headstrong and feisty. I probably would have argued after all, I was in the House of GOD, so I should be left alone. Yet, our Awesome LORD & SAVIOUR, GOD the Son, OBEYED HIS PARENTS AND WENT HOME WITH THEM (note the triple emphasis)!

This is the story (grab a cup of coffee if you can ☺). At the beginning of this year 2016, I was appointed as the Secretary of a Christian Campus Fellowship at the University of Pretoria by the then Director of the Campus Fellowships belonging to our church in Pretoria- my lovely father. However, a new pastor was brought to our church. Later, somebody came to tell him the new pastor at our church, was planning to upset the existing fellowship structure, appoint new people and do things his own way (this turned out to be false). My father, being a wise man wanting to avoid trouble with the new pastor, pulled out of the Fellowship. He simply decided he would do nothing and let the new pastor take over.  He told me to leave my job as a Secretary and not bother to do anything anymore. However, I had already warmed to the post of Secretary, and already had ideas of how the new team and I could transform the Fellowship and make a positive difference on our Campus. I was already imagining how would would be saved, and many students would want to be a part of us. Big dreams, hey.

When my dad told me to leave, I was upset, and tried to plead with him to wait and see if the report was true. Maybe see the new pastor and discuss things with him. However, my dad had already seen things I was not seeing. So I refused to leave the post of the Fellowship’s Secretary. There was nobody else available to take the post, because we were trying to resurrect an already dying Fellowship. This was largely due to the unwillingness of people to work for GOD where they would not be noticed and church politics. I thought I had a chance to possibly make a difference, and probably make a difference. I didn’t take the post up because I wanted power.

Thinking back now, I think I was quite excited about it. Did I like the fact that I would be exercising power or calling the shots? I don’t think so. I was excited about my new post and thought that I could possibly make a positive impact. Dude, I was so confident, it’s funny thinking about it now 🙂

GOD’s Truth, I did not ask for Divine Direction. And I deeply regret it. This is where I excluded the HOLY SPIRIT, and was on the ride to the club called ‘Disappointment’. I forgot 1 Samuel 15: 22, certainly.

This is where I missed it. I decided to go ahead and maintain the post of Secretary at the Fellowship. So, I started working hard. I created a WhatsApp group, and started getting things in motion in order to reregister the Fellowship on our campus. However, there was little to no enthusiasm from other members of our church who were students, because most people were busy. So, I did what I could here and there. I poured my everything into it, neglected my studies, and other things. I was doing most of the work, and sort of carrying the burden of the Fellowship on my shoulders.

At the same time, I was getting berated at home for continuing as the Secretary of the Fellowship. My parents were of the opinion I was going to get hurt in the end. The people I was working with were much older than me, they had much less passion for it I had, and they were not seeing the ‘Big Picture’ I was seeing. This would result in friction, and so on. But, I guess I did not understand how this could happen. I thought I had everything under control.

Finally, we were able to get 145 students to sign up to be members of the Fellowship, and we had a founding meeting which made everyone exhausted in planning it. On that day, something happened, and I was so exhausted. There was a disagreement, and somebody else I was working with was talking to me so rudely. She even insulted my father in the process! It was then I realized it was time to leave. This event really affected me, I could not sleep or think of much else. I was so down, because I was like, ‘Do I deserve this kind of treatment?’

Two weeks later, I got angry, and did something I still regret. I removed somebody from the WhatsApp group of the executive, which I had created. I did not think about what I was doing because anger and bitterness had started to set it in. But I apologised, and added her back. As a result, for one hour, people were accusing me of everything from being rude, to liking power, being too aggressive, liking power, not being dynamic etc. It  was a 1 hr version of the Benghazi trial Hillary Clinton had. In the end, I came away TOTALLY BEWILDERED. It took weeks to finally get my life together.

So, I disobeyed my parents, I did not do what JESUS would do, and honey, I am paying for it. I have tried to forget it, but with passion comes pain. I carried the Fellowship as a child I had to raise. I poured my everything into it. THE POINT: IF I HAD OBEYED MY PARENTS, AND LISTENED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, I COULD HAVE AVOIDED ALL THE EMOTIONAL STRESS I WENT THROUGH.

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Finally, I am not perfect, and I don’t pretend to be. In fact, a favourite quote of mine is this: ‘I am a piece of art GOD is still working on, and the beautiful result will be unveiled in eternity.’ Ifeoluwa Oluyeju. I never pretended to know all. I may have made mistakes, but I know that GOD saw my passionate heart for HIM.

Do I regret everything/the whole experience? No. Because if I did not make these mistakes now that I am still living with my parents, I could have made the same mistakes when I am living on my own. And without my wise old parents, I would not have been able to bear the pain.

Moreover, I know that when there are conflicting Biblical or Christian or Godly interests, some interests must prevail. I think this is why GOD introduced the Ten Commandments. They are like the Constitution of GOD’s Kingdom- the Supreme Law of HIS Land. Where there is a clash between any of these Commandments and any other law, the Commandment(s) involved must prevail. I think this is why Awesome JESUS left the Bible Study which was fine in GOD’s Eyes, to obey HIS Parents, more important in GOD’s Eyes, as it is the first Commandment among the Ten, with a promise.

Once again, obeying GOD’s Word is less painful than having regrets.

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Thank you for reading this post 🙂

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning).

Reblog this post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Googleplus, and sign-up to have every post delivered to your inbox ☺♥

GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

© May 2016