Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Thursday, February 04, 2016

DJD204 - Better Than Sacrifice

Read More Daily Jesus
Scripture: 

1 Samuel 15:22

Starting Question:

What is the best thing you've done this week?

Better Than Sacrifice

Some of the most challenging stories in the Bible are times when it seems the people of God are expected to be perfect. And being perfect isn’t easy! But look closer and you’ll see, God only expects us to listen and obey.

In the book of Acts a story is told about a married couple in the early church named Ananias and Sapphira. This lovely couple sells a block of land and decides to give some of the money from the sale to the new growing group of Christians. 

In the book of 1 Samuel a story is told about King Saul leading the army of the Lord against the enemy and coming home victorious. Saul saves a number of the lambs and cattle from the enemy’s fields and even brings the enemy king home in chains.

In both stories, things go horribly wrong. Our verse for today comes from the second story. 
“To obey is better than sacrifice. To listen is better than impressive offerings.” 

From the outside, both sacrifices are truly amazing. Selling property and giving a big portion of it to God. Wow! Generous! Defeating a sworn enemy and bringing back live offerings. Amazing! These sound like good things until you hear the rest of the story.

Ananias and Sapphira told the church they were giving God the entire amount they had been paid for the land. But they kept some for themselves. Peter said, “It was your money to do what you wanted with! Why lie? God knows and now we know - you lied to God!”

King Saul came to Samuel bubbling about his victory and how great it was that he kept animals and the king alive to bring as living sacrifices to God. Samuel had to interrupt the blubbering king, “”STOP! Let me tell you what God says!” King Saul wasn’t used to being interrupted, but he invited Samuel to continue. “God told you to bring nothing back. Destroy everything. Now you’ve kept things to make yourself look good! WHY?”

“To obey is better than sacrifice. To listen is better than impressive offerings.” 

God’s requests are fairly simple and extremely obvious.
He doesn’t ask us for showy sacrifices or big gifts.
He just wants us to be true to our word and His.

Reflection Question:
What simple thing has God asked you to do? 

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?