“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.”
(Read full passage here)
Here Samuel is talking to Saul as the Lord had told him specific instructions in taking down the enemy for complete destruction. But Saul did not completely destroy (did not obey) but rather took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen (the goods). Saul’s response was that he took it for SACRIFICE to the Lord. But Saul did not OBEY the voice of the Lord.
Main Point: Obedience is better than sacrifice.
Proverbs 3:21 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Psalm 40:6 and 8 -- Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—but my ears you have opened.
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
Jesus says in Luke 6:46-49
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”