Is Obedience Better Than Fasting?

 : Little boy hiding candies, his mother angry

We have all heard the verse that says “to obey is better than sacrifice.” Looking at the context in 1 Samuel 15 and reading up the following verses in Isaiah 1, I concluded that to obey is many times better than sacrifice and fasting- if our sacrifices and fasting are devoid of obedience.

  • “The multitude of your sacrifices-what are they to me?” says the Lord.(Verse 11) 
  • “Stop bringing meaningless offerings!Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.(Verse 13) 
  • When you spread out your hands in prayer I hide my eyes from you;even when you offer many prayer I am not listening.(Verse 15) 

Saul was the first king of Israel. He was anointed by the Lord and the first commission given to him by the Lord was to kill all Amalekites, the enemies of the Lord. Yet, Saul had a better idea. He spared some of the cattle, the sheep, the spoils and the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord. Have you ever modified your Boss’ strict orders to clock out on time? Have you stayed behind considerable time without clocking out to write an appreciation note to your Boss? Well, that is what Samuel did. Not only did he not do what God asked him to do, his greed was well warped as a sacrifice to the Lord.

We show disobedience to God when we resist His will. We show disobedience when we plainly disobey. We show disobedience when we delay obedience. The root of all this is the same- lack of trust and unbelief. Yet we don’t say we we do not trust, we don’t call it unbelief.
Interestingly we have other names that we call them though. We have a name for resistance to God’s will, we call it, ” We want to be comfortable.” We have a name for disobedience. We call it “I have a better idea.” We have a name when we delay obedience. We call it “It’s a struggle…”
What ever we call it does not matter, God calls it sin. Sin always hides itself, over promises and under delivers. It promise us satisfaction yesterday, emptiness today and continued quest tomorrow. King Saul lost his kingdom by his incomplete obedience.

We are lost to the kingdom of God by our incomplete obedience or disobedience. Sisters, He sees us through. He knows our every motive and intent. Everything lies naked and open before Him.

Father, every inclination in me that is not towards your son, but towards my glory is danger, it obscures Your glory. It compromises Your promises. It brings confusion and the kingdom stops with me. Yet, what grace you show me. I have realized plenty of those in me today. Help me to always always always choose obedience. And where I cannot, give me the grace. Help me to know by wisdom how dangerous my sin is to your glory. Give me the grace to obey. Would you work out that which is pleasing in your sight in me? In Jesus’ name, amen.

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