Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifices – 1 Samuel 15:22 Meaning and explanation

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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 he went to war against Amalek, all detailed in 1st. Samuel 15:22.

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

Obedience is better than Sacrifices 1 Samuel 15:22

“Obedience is better than sacrifices” was a phrase that produced 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.

The War against Amalek and Saul’s disobedience

The people of Israel at the time of leaving Egypt, and going 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 it can be seen that although God gave the 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 gave him the mission of destroying these people in a total way, fulfilling the sentence they had received.

“Then Samuel said to Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over his people Israel; Now, then, listen to the words of Jehovah. Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will punish what Amalek did to Israel by opposing him on the way when he came up out of Egypt. Go, then, and strike Amalek, and destroy all that he has, and have no pity on him; it kills men, women, children, and even the breast, cows, sheep, camels and donkeys ”(1 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 from the king, his children to the entire town, including his cattle, sheep, camels, cows that nothing will be left alive from that generation of evil.


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 sacrifices .” So you have to see what Saul did after listening to the instruction given by the mouth of the prophet Samuel.

“And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havila to Shur, which is east of Egypt. And he took Agag king of Amalek alive, but he killed all the people with the edge of the sword. And Saul and the people forgave Agag, and the best of the sheep and the large cattle, the fattened animals, the rams and everything good, and they did not want to destroy him; but everything 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 his 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 their convenience, producing annoyance to God.

That is why it is necessary to 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 Lord’s annoyance, for which Samuel spent the whole night praying to know what to do before the action committed by the king of Saul.


“And the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, I am sorry that I made Saul king because he has turned from after me and has not kept my words. And Samuel was grieved and cried out 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 him 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 God’s position before his actions, and it can be seen that it was an encounter where ignorance of disobedience enveloped Saul.


“So Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, Blessed are you of the Lord; I have kept the word of the Lord. Samuel then said: For what bleating of sheep and bellowing of cows is this that I hear with my ears? And Saul answered: They have brought them from Amalek; because the people forgave the best of the sheep and herds, to sacrifice them to Jehovah 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, Though you were little in your own eyes, have you not been made chief of the tribes of Israel, and has the LORD anointed you king over Israel? And the Lord sent you on a mission and said: Go, destroy the sinners of Amalek, and make war on them until you finish them off.

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


is manifestation a sin

When Samuel came to meet King Saul it is achieved with a sound of animals, so he immediately understands the disobedience of Saul, 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 booty of animals he wanted to raise sacrifices to God, so Samuel responds with the most forceful phrase that this could hear King.
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“And Samuel said,” Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and victims as well as in obeying the words of the Lord? Certainly to obey is better than sacrifices, and to pay attention 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 sacrifices or holocaust that can be raised before God, since He seeks absolute obedience from all His children, before any command or commission that He gave it to her. And this brings consequences, that is why the action committed by King Saul had a consequence that marked the destiny of his call as King of Israel.

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

So now forgive my sin, and come back to me to worship Jehovah. And Samuel said to 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 took hold of the end of his cloak, and it tore. Then Samuel said to him: The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours better than you “(1 Samuel 15: 23-28)

It can be seen that by actions of disobedience to the commands 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 fulfilling each of the things that God commissions them to do because Saul was destitute of all the blessing that had been acquired for being King of Israel, for disobeying a simple order that God gave them.

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 to not fully comply with God’s mandate, since 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, all believers at this time often allow themselves to be influenced by the world, through the activities that are done daily, of the banality, that come to hinder the purpose for which each of them is here in the Earth.


Obedience is better than sacrifices in the service of God

Obedience is better than sacrifices is a phrase that every person wishes to fulfill, since many parents, for example, expect each of their children to obey without questioning the orders they give them. In the same way, teachers at the time of teaching their students hope that they fully comply with the procedure, so that they can obtain the best results from what has been studied.

The same occurs in the service that any believer performs in his church or congregation, since there may be those 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 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 the revelation, in order to act in the right way in the eyes of God, and not commit the mistake of acting according to your own criteria.

This happens very often, therefore, you may find some believers who believe that going to church, helping others, raising their hands in worship are sacrifices that come to God with good eyes. But if your life is messy, where what exists is resentment, quarrel, lies, or evil deeds in secret, these things are seen by God very badly, since He sees everything both the good you do and the bad.

With this phrase that Samuel told 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 commands.

In such a way, that anyone who comes to Sunday worship on a Sunday to raise their hands raising sacrifices of worship is not going to come 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.

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Final Words:
In this way, God expects each of his children to be renewed each 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 to which God expects, that each one of those who approach Him obtain and not be like the king who disobeyed and lost everything.