In the Bible, the verse that states “To obey is better than sacrifice” can be found in 1 Samuel 15:22. The passage conveys the importance of obedience to God’s commandments over offering material sacrifices as an act of worship.
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Obedience versus sacrifice is a recurring theme in the Bible, highlighting the importance of following God’s commandments rather than merely offering external acts of worship. The phrase “To obey is better than sacrifice” can be found in 1 Samuel 15:22. This passage provides a significant lesson on prioritizing obedience to God over outward religious observances.
1 Samuel 15:22 says, “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.'” This verse comes from the story of King Saul, who was instructed by God to completely destroy the Amalekites and their possessions. However, Saul only partially obeyed the command and spared the best of the livestock. When confronted by the prophet Samuel, Saul attempted to justify his actions by claiming that the livestock would be offered as sacrifices to God. Samuel responds with the powerful statement that obedience holds greater value than ritualistic sacrifices.
This verse has profound implications and continues to resonate with believers today. It reminds us that true worship goes beyond external rituals and demands heartfelt obedience and commitment to God’s will. It teaches us that obedience is a reflection of a genuine relationship with God, while sacrifice without obedience is empty.
- Sacrifices were a significant part of religious practices in ancient times, including burnt offerings, peace offerings, and sin offerings. However, they were meant to complement and express obedience to God rather than replace it.
- The concept of prioritizing obedience over sacrifice is not limited to this particular verse in 1 Samuel. It can be found in various other passages in the Bible, such as Psalm 51:16-17 and Hosea 6:6.
- This principle is also echoed in the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. In Mark 12:33, Jesus commends a teacher of the law who understands that loving God and loving others is more important than burnt offerings and sacrifices.
- The emphasis on obedience rather than sacrifice highlights the significance of aligning one’s actions and attitudes with God’s commandments. It emphasizes the importance of a transformed heart and a genuine desire to please God.
“God cares more about our obedience to His Word than our personal sacrifices to Him.” – Tony Evans
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One of the most striking examples of this principle is found in 1 Samuel, where the prophet Samuel declares to King Saul: “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” (1 Sam.
The phrase "obedience is better than sacrifice" comes from the Bible, 1 Samuel 15:22, where the prophet Samuel rebukes King Saul for disobeying God’s command. The verse implies that God values obedience to His will more than ritualistic offerings. God wants His people to obey Him out of love and trust, not out of fear or obligation.
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.” 1 Peter 2:13-25 ESV / 19 helpful votes
For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams. 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.
King James Version 22 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.
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
God doesn’t want a sacrifice offered out of obligation or as a way to dodge consequences. He wants us to obey out of our love for Him and His gift of eternal life through Jesus. We obey because of what He’s already done for us. We obey because we trust Him knowing that His ways are always best.
Video related “Where in the Bible does it say obedience is better than sacrifice?”
In this video, John Grove explores the story of Saul from the book of 1 Samuel, emphasizing the significance of obedience to God. Although Saul believed he was doing right by offering a sacrifice, he failed to fully obey God’s instructions. The passage conveys the message that God values complete obedience more than impressive sacrifices, equating disobedience with witchcraft or idolatry. The consequences of Saul’s disobedience were losing his kingship and ultimately his life. This message remains applicable to us as we recognize that none of us can obey God perfectly, yet we can find solace in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Instead of settling for partial obedience, we ought to surrender to God and strive for both a willing heart and obedient actions, understanding that obedience to God is superior to offering sacrifices.
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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. [Revelation] The Comeback: HALLELUJAH!
I’ve asked for your hearts and your lives in obedience to me.” And if we’re not careful, any one of us can get caught up in doing religious things, while covering up for disobedience to God’s Word in our lives. So we all need to pray, “God help us.