Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Peace Offerings and Sacrifice

With tears I told her I didn't want her pictures or presents or anything else from her. There was one thing I was looking for, ONE thing that was important ~ That she obey. She had been going out of her way to show me this morning that she would not obey and that she did not respect me as her mother.

It's tough stuff.

Showing grace, and love, and patience and mercy, and having long-suffering fortitude... these all have their place, but ultimately obedience still must be learned. Nothing can replace obedience. Bargaining, and excuses, gifts and sorrys...  all are worthless if obedience is never learned.

I wasn't thinking of it at the time, but there is a story in 1 Samuel 15 that came to my mind later and relates. I think I might share it with her for worship tonight. King Saul was no longer a humble, meek and modest leader as he had once been. He had become arrogant and proud and unteachable. His heart was hardened and defiant. When the Lord sent him on a mission with VERY SPECIFIC instructions to destroy everything of the Amalekites and he did PART of the job. He allowed his soldiers to save some of the fine cattle and sheep to make themselves rich. He probably got a portion of the plunder for himself. He did not do away with the wicked king Agag as God had commanded but kept him as a trophy.

When Saul met up with the prophet Samuel he was like, "The Lord bless you, I have carried out the Lord's instructions!"

Samuel's response was, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

 Excuses. Defenses. Evasions. and cover-up. The king probably had been thinking them up for hours. He totally justified disobedience because he had "a good cause" in mind for some of the sheep. He told Samuel they were for sacrificing to the Lord.

The prophet said, "Enough. I don't want to hear it. This is what God said to me last night."

“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. 
 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

Terrified King Saul cried out , "I'm sorry, I'm sorry I have sinned!!" and then he went on with more excuses and more self-defense and blame. He begged Samuel to just forgive the sin and let him carry on as usual and go sacrifice to the Lord. But Samuel would have none of it and turned to leave saying, "You have rejected the Word of the Lord and God has rejected you as king over His people." 

It's a sobering story.  To obey is better than sacrifice.... 

3 comments:

Emily said...

And in the end, the cost for his disobedience was so high!

To obey is better than sacrifice. How true this is!

Mama in Uganda said...

Amen!

Oldqueen44 said...

She is going to have a hard time trying to figure out how to control this new approach.
Praying for a changed heart.