Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Better than sacrifice

1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

In our Chooseday Café (our weekly small group meeting here at the Signs) we are watching the Nooma DVDs and having a discussion afterwards. This week we were challenged to make our Christianity real.

As the above text states, God is not interested in sacrifice without obedience. In other words, He doesn’t want us to say sorry with no intention of doing the right thing next time. To obey is better.

God never intended for sin to erupt. Without sin, there would have been no need for sacrifice. With unbroken obedience there would have never been death. All the blood of innocent lambs would have been unnecessary—unimaginable really, having never seen or experiencing death.

It is interesting to me how many of the answers we give to spiritual questions require a sinful worldview to be the correct answer. For instance: “What does God want us to do?” Usual answer: “To obey.” Another question: “Why do we pray?” Usual answer: “To ask for something—help or guidance.” Another question: “How does God show His love for us?” Answer: “He sent His Son to die for us.”

Do you see it? What if there had never been sin? God wouldn’t be calling for obedience. He wouldn’t be answering pleas for help. And he would never have sent his Son to die. When we get to Heaven, what will the point of life be?

Back to our DVD discussion. To obey is better than sacrifice. The death of lambs was a waste if it wasn’t parallelled with a heart of repentance and a life of obedience. Jesus’ sacrifice is useless if it doesn’t bridge the gap between a death-filled worldview and a death-free worldview.

What does God want from us? Passionate worship. Why do we pray? To commune with God. How does God show His love for us? Life.

Have you accepted Jesus death on the cross in your place? Then the sacrifice has been made for you. What is the purpose of your life, now? Remember, you subscribe to the death-free worldview now. Who are you? What is your purpose? What is God’s purpose for your life? Why do you pray, testify, love, laugh or sing? Why do you live?