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Sunday, 14 January 2018 14:29

OBEDIENCE: SACRIFICE OF SELF-WILL

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"And Samuel said, hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15: 22.

These were the words of the prophet, Samuel to Saul, the king of Israel after Saul had failed to carry out the instructions of God to the letter.

Saul was commanded: “Now go and smite the Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” – 1 Samuel 15: 3.

Earlier, in the history of Israel as a nation, Amalek had troubled the Israelites on their way out of Egypt after about 210 or 215 years in slavery and hard bondage (See THE 400 YEARS AND 430 YEARS TIMELINE STUDY) and the Lord had promised under oath to judge the Amalekites (Exodus 17: 8-14). Now, God chose to use Saul to fulfil this promise but Saul in self-will did not fully obey the Lord.

“But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sleep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them” – 1 Samuel 15: 9.

Many times in our disobedience, we tend to frustrate the plan of God but we ultimately lose out.

As you read this verse further, you will notice that Saul spared the best to sacrifice to God. In bringing a sacrifice, he was found in disobedience. To engage in dubious transactions and later on pay fat tithes and give generous offerings unto the Lord does not atone for your disobedience.

Why do we disobey when we know that we should always obey?
Obedience is the highest kind of sacrifice. Obedience is the sacrifice of self-will. It is the sacrifice of our choice for the choice of whom we obey. Obedience does not mean that we do not know what we want to do. Rather, it means the laying down of our choices on the altar for God’s choice. A very good example of this was the death of Jesus on the cross.

The Lord Jesus came to the world to do the will of God.
“Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifice for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of book, it is written of me) to do thy will, O God” – Hebrews 10: 5-7.

The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth to do the will of God. He was fed up with the sacrifice of animals and the shedding of the blood of bulls to atone for sin. Therefore, the body of Jesus was prepared for an all-time sacrifice for all humanity.

“…but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the SACRIFICE of HIMSELF…So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” – Hebrew 9: 26, 28.

We notice that at the Garden of Gethsemane, there was a conflict of two wills: The will of man, Jesus Christ and the will of God. The Lord had spoken about his purpose here on earth and his impending death to his disciples and followers. When the hour was around the corner, his humanity was revealed. He got apprehensive.

“Then he saith unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here and watch with me, And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I WILL, but as THOU WILT.” – Matthew 26: 38-39.

During the second and third points of prayer at Gethsemane, we see the victory of God’s will over self-will.

“O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, THY WILL BE DONE” – Matthew 26: 42.

This was the point where the sacrifice took place before the crucifixion on the cross. The death of Jesus on the cross was the fruit of the sacrifice of self-will at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Is this not the reason we disobey? We find it difficult to lay self-will on the altar. The highest kind of sacrifice you can give God is to lay down your choice for His choice.

Jesus came to do the will of God. When he found out that the cross and God’s will were identical, he chose the will of God hence the cross. When we choose the will of God instead of ours, we have offered the highest sacrifice.

The soul of man is of higher value than anything here on earth before the eyes of God. Nothing on earth compares in value with your soul. In obedience, you are choosing his will. This is the offering of your soul.

OBEDIENCE is better than SACRIFICE.

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