Meaning of Obedience is better than sacrifice 1 Samuel 15:22

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Obedience is  Better than Sacrifices were the words that Samuel said to King Saul, after not fulfilling the mandate that God had given him when going to war against Amalek, all detailed in 1. Samuel 15:22.

This verse reveals what God expects from each of his children: absolute obedience to all commands because that believer who serves God, who praises and adores, but does not obey his commands is displeasing the Heavenly Father.

Obedience is  Better than Sacrifices

Obedience is  Better than Sacrifices 1 Samuel 15:22

“Obedience is better than sacrifice” was a phrase that caused the decline of Saul’s reign, totally changing his life for not obeying the order given by God. In this sense, in order to understand a little what caused this situation, it is important to contextualize the situation that arose.

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The War against Amalek and Saul’s disobedience

The people of Israel at the time of leaving Egypt, and passing through the desert in those 40 years, was achieved with one of the strongest enemies, the people of Amalek, who attacked them brutally, however, God gave them victory against these people, who rose up against his people declaring their enmity from generation to generation. (Exodus 17:8-16)

There you can see that although God gave victory to all the people of Israel, He totally condemned the Amalekite people, for having fought against his people. Therefore, his wickedness was never forgotten by God, and during the reign of Saul, he gives him the mission of destroying these people completely, fulfilling the sentence they had received.

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“Then Samuel said to Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now, then, he pays attention to the words of Jehovah. Thus saith the LORD of hosts: I will punish what Amalek did to Israel by opposing him in the way when he was going up from Egypt. Go, therefore, and strike Amalek, and destroy all that he has, and have no mercy on him; he kills men, women, children, and even sucklings, cows, sheep, camels, and donkeys (1st Samuel 15:1-3) 

As can be seen in these verses, the order was completely clear, God wanted the entire town of Amalek to be completely destroyed since that referred to the king, his children, the entire town, including his cattle, sheep, camels, cows that nothing will be left alive from that generation of wickedness.


Obedience to God above all

In this sense, many times it must be understood that God gives orders to his children, and his plan is that they always obey the instruction to the letter, because as Samuel said, “Obedience is better than sacrifice “. That is why we must see what Saul did after hearing the instruction given by the mouth of the prophet Samuel.


“And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is in the east of Egypt. And he took alive Agag king of Amalek, but he killed all the people with the edge of the sword. And Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and cattle, of the fattened animals, of the rams and of all that was good, and they did not want to destroy it; but all that was vile and despicable they destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:7-9)


Although Saul fulfilled the mandate that God had given him to defeat the people of Amalek, his work was not complete, since he spared Agag’s life and the best of her sheep, and of all the fattened animals. That is to say that he did not obey absolutely, and acted according to his convenience, which happens in the same way at this time with believers, who adapt God’s commands to his convenience, causing discomfort to God.

That is why we must analyze what happened to Saul, since from the moment he disobeyed the order given by God that was revealed to Samuel, bringing with him the annoyance of the Lord, so Samuel spent the whole night praying to know what he should do in the face of the acts committed by the king of Saul.


“And the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, I regret that I have made Saul king because he has turned from following me and has not kept my words. And Samuel was grieved, and he cried to the Lord all that night” (1 Samuel 15:10-11)


In this way, it is seen how the prophet Samuel approached God in prayer, asking for direction regarding what was in store for King Saul for disobeying the order given to destroy all the people of Amalek, leading him to confront Saul and defend the position of God in front of his actions, and you can see that it was an encounter where the ignorance of disobedience enveloped Saul.

“So Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, Blessed are you of the Lord; I have fulfilled the word of the Lord. Samuel then said: Well, what bleating of sheep and bellowing of cows is this that I hear with my ears? And Saul answered: From Amalek, they have brought them; for the people spared the best of the sheep and herds, to sacrifice them to the Lord your God, but the rest we destroyed.

Then Samuel said to Saul: Let me tell you what the Lord has told me tonight. And he answered him: Say. And Samuel said, Although you were small in your own eyes, have you not been made chief of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord has anointed you king over Israel? And Jehovah sent you on a mission and said: Go, destroy the sinners of Amalek, and make war with them until you finish them off.

Why then have you not listened to the voice of the LORD, but have returned to the spoil and done evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said to Samuel, Rather, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission that the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag king of Amalek, and have destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took from the booty sheep and herds, the first fruits of the accursed, to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God at Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:13-21)


When Samuel came to meet King Saul, he got a sound of animals, so he immediately understands Saul’s disobedience, who is happy to have fulfilled the mission entrusted by God, so Samuel tells him that he has not fulfilled the mandate given by God not to slaughter everything that was in the town, at that moment Saul is justified in that with that loot of animals he wanted to raise sacrifices to God, so Samuel responds with the most forceful phrase that he could hear this King.

Parable Of The Two Debtors

“And Samuel said, Does the Lord take as much delight in burnt offerings and victims, as in obeying the words of the Lord? Surely obeying is better than sacrifices, and heeding than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).


This sentence begins with a question and ends with a statement in which obedience will be better than any sacrifice or holocaust that can be raised before God, since He seeks absolute obedience from all His children, before any mandate or commission that He gave it to her. And this brings with it consequences, that is why the action that King Saul committed had a consequence that marked the destiny of his call as King of Israel.


“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and self-will is like idols and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he also has rejected you from being king. Then Saul said to Samuel: I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words because I feared the people and consented to their voice.

Forgive me now, therefore, my sin, and come back to me so that I may worship the Lord. And Samuel answered Saul: I will not return with you; because you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel. And Samuel turning to go, he caught hold of the corner of his cloak, and it tore. Then Samuel said to him: The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and he has given it to a neighbor of yours better than you (1st Samuel 15: 23-28)


It can be seen that by the actions of disobedience before the mandates given by God, everything that was worked for so long can be taken away. In this way, each believer must take what happened to Saul as teaching, in fully complying with each of the things that God entrusts them to do since Saul was removed from all the blessing that he had acquired for being King of Israel, for disobeying a simple order that God gave him.

In the same way, it must be taken into account that King Saul allowed himself to be influenced by the people around him, who led him not to fully comply with God’s mandate because they took the best cattle and insisted that he not They killed him for them to raise a holocaust to the Highest God, however, that influence led him to lose everything.

In this sense, every believer in this time is often influenced by the world, through the activities that are done daily, of banality, which comes to hinder the purpose for which each one of them is here in the land.

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Obedience is  Better than Sacrifices in the service of God

Obedience is better than sacrifice is a phrase that everyone wants to fulfill, since many parents, for example, expect each of their children to obey orders without question. they give them. In the same way, when teaching their students, teachers expect them to fully comply with the procedure so that they can obtain the best results from what they have studied.

The same happens in the service that any believer performs in his church or congregation, since there may be cases in which the person can raise sacrifices in his service in the church, but in his daily life, he disobeys each of God’s commands. For example, it may be that he steals, fornicates, or does anything that dishonors God, and even doing so he goes to church and raises his hands raising sacrifices of praise before the altar, but God sees him with displeasure just as he saw Saul.

Many times believers have not had the revelation that God wants them to have about his commandments and precepts, so they walk in emotion and not in the conviction of who God is through the word.

That is why, sometimes it is necessary to review each of the teachings found in the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to bring you the revelation, in order to act in the correct way before the eyes of God, and not commit the mistake of acting according to your own criteria.

This happens very often, therefore, you can find some believers who believe that going to church, helping others, raising your hands in worship are sacrifices that reach God with good eyes. But if your life is messy, where what exists is rancor, quarrels, lies, or hidden bad actions, these things are seen by God very badly, since He sees everything both the good you do, as well as the bad.

With this phrase that Samuel said to Saul, Obedience is  Better than Sacrifices, it can be understood that before God there are no actions, no rites, no offerings or sacrifices that arrive before his presence with a fragrant smell if there is no obedience to his mandates.

In such a way that anyone who comes to Sunday worship on a Sunday to raise their hands raising sacrifices of adoration is not going to arrive with good eyes before God, because He expects them to do what is due every day, and not be like Saul that he was justified in not obeying his command.


In this way, God expects each of his children to be renewed every day by the power of his word and to understand what his mandates are. He wants that each day they can allow the Holy Spirit to direct them in each one of the things, so that they can have the absolute obedience that God expects, that each one of those who approach Him obtains and not be like the king who disobeyed and lost everything.