C.H. Spurgeon’s Evening Devotional

Saturday October 18, 2008

"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice."-1 Samuel 15:22


    Saul had been commanded to slay utterly all the Amalekites and
their cattle. Instead of doing so, he preserved the king, and suffered
his people to take the best of the oxen and of the sheep. When called
to account for this, he declared that he did it with a view of offering
sacrifice to God; but Samuel met him at once with the assurance that
sacrifices were no excuse for an act of direct rebellion. The sentence
before us is worthy to be printed in letters of gold, and to be hung up
before the eyes of the present idolatrous generation, who are very fond
of the fineries of will-worship, but utterly neglect the laws of God.
Be it ever in your remembrance, that to keep strictly in the path of
your Saviour’s command is better than any outward form of religion; and
to hearken to His precept with an attentive ear is better than to bring
the fat of rams, or any other precious thing to lay upon His altar. If
you are failing to keep the least of Christ’s commands to His
disciples, I pray you be disobedient no longer. All the pretensions you
make of attachment to your Master, and all the devout actions which you
may perform, are no recompense for disobedience. "To obey," even in the
slightest and smallest thing, "is better than sacrifice," however
pompous. Talk not of Gregorian chants, sumptuous robes, incense, and
banners; the first thing which God requires of His child is obedience;
and though you should give your body to be burned, and all your goods
to feed the poor, yet if you do not hearken to the Lord’s precepts, all
your formalities shall profit you nothing. It is a blessed thing to be
teachable as a little child, but it is a much more blessed thing when
one has been taught the lesson, to carry it out to the letter. How many
adorn their temples and decorate their priests, but refuse to obey the
word of the Lord! My soul, come not thou into their secret.
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