Obedience and Sacrifice
“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” (First Samuel 15:22).
God requires your undivided obedience. Your obedience is better than your sacrifices to God. Today let’s examine or hear what God says about sin, sacrifices and obedience. As we look around in the world we live in today we clearly see the cause and effect of sin. But God has an answer to the deplorable conditions of our dwelling place called planet earth. He has the answer to the plight that the entire world faces today—willful disobedience.
The Bible tells us in Second Timothy 3:1-5, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
We are living in such a time today where sin is rampant in the whole world we live in. We see the effects of disobedience to God everywhere you look. From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to gang warfare in the streets of America. We see corruption and evil doings in high places from the federal to the state to the local governments. We hear of immoral and unethical acts by our leaders from the school house principals to the parents, mothers and fathers, in our homes. We all suffer, sinners and saints alike from the effects of sin, from the effects of lawlessness, from the effects of unrighteousness, from the effects of disobedience to God’s commandments.
The Bible tells us that, “For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23). God’s blessings do not come by way of a sinful life style. You’ve got to live right. You’ve got to walk right. God’s peace and salvation does not come on our own terms, by our own doings or by the works of own righteousness. The Bible tells us that, “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8). Because man has sinned, God requires a blood sacrifice. Even at the outset in the Garden of Eden God required a blood sacrifice. When Adam and Eve sinned, and found themselves naked before God they attempted to cover their nakedness with fig leaves but God required a blood sacrifice.
He provided them with them with tunics of skin for clothing. Animals were sacrificed to pay the penalty for their sin—to cover their nakedness and shame due to disobedience. Man, still seeks today to provide his own covering, his own sacrifices for the effects of sin. Man, still offers his own sacrifices to appease God, to no avail. Because of son, man is at war with God and God is angry at the wickedness of man everyday.
Man cannot live good enough to offer what God requires for breaking of peace between Him and man. Only the sacrificial Lamb of God can appease an angry God, a Holy God for what man has brought upon himself through willful disobedience. Money won’t work; education won’t work; social status won’t work; and political clout and power won’t work for the sacrifice required by a Holy God. “Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit,” says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6). The Bible tells us that it is better to obedience is better than sacrifices. In the Old Testament before the coming of the Messiah, God allowed the sacrifices of animals as atonement, as a symbolic propitiation or covering for the sins committed by His people until the fulfillment of the Law by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ—by the shedding of His precious blood.
We can now enter the holy of holies by the accomplished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary—the atonement for our sins. We can receive the forgiveness of our sins if we obey the voice of the Lord. If we would heed his calling, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and will open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me, Jesus said (Revelation 3:20). I want to know today if you are willing to accept the sacrifice offered at Calvary for you and me and for the sins of the world or will you attempt to appease an angry God by your unholy works and by your self-righteousness.
I’m reminded of a story in the Bible where King Saul thought he could have it his way and do things on his terms when God commanded him to do His will. How many of us are like Saul today who want to hear part of what God says and to come to God on our own terms when He requires us to give him our undivided obedience.
I want to caution you, to warn you, to inform you that we all have been commanded by God to obey His word just as He required it of Saul. God has commanded us to kill that whore mongering demon, to kill that lying demon, to kill that gossiping demon, to kill that lust demon, to kill that prideful demon, to kill that slothful demon, to kill that excuse-making demon, to kill that ignorant demon, to kill that complacency demon, to kill that mediocrity demon, to kill that fear demon, to kill that gluttony demon, to kill that self-righteous demon, to kill that doubting demon.
We don’t have a sacrifice enough to atone for our sins. Our prayer time is not enough, our tithes and offerings are not enough, our will power and smooth words are not enough. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Bishop R. McPherson, Ed. D.
Faith Christian Temple Church
July 15, 2018