By Alan Wright — May 16, 2019
God never has been impressed by the sacrifices we make unto Him. He’s moved by the sacrifice of Jesus.
Today’s Text: “And Samuel said, ‘… Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.’”
(1 Samuel 15:22–23, ESV)
As we continue our message today on the contrast of David and Saul, we see that one of the similarities between Saul and David was that both kings offered sacrifices.
In 2 Samuel 6, David offered sacrifices as the people joyously brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. It was a beautiful act of worship. For Saul, his confusion about making sacrifices to the Lord brought about his demise.
In 1 Samuel 15 we read about Saul’s attack on the Amalekites. The Lord had told Saul to destroy them for they were especially evil, but Saul disobeyed. He defeated the Amalekites but he didn’t destroy all that the Lord had commanded. He kept the best of the sheep, oxen, and lambs – any good-looking animal. We learn later why Saul disobeyed.
Saul told the prophet Samuel that he devoted the Amalekites to destruction, “But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:21, ESV). Saul was hoarding potential burnt offerings with which he thought he could impress God.
Samuel responded, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22, ESV).
What was pleasing about David’s sacrifice compared to Saul’s was that David’s was a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving because he knew he had been favored by God. Saul’s sacrifice was a fearful act of manipulation looking to earn God’s favor. God has never been impressed by the fat of rams or any sacrifice that you can bring to Him. God has made the sacrifice Himself in Jesus Christ. No other sacrifice can ever impress Him. No other sacrifice is needed. And that’s the Gospel!