1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

i was having one of those weeks. you know…one of those weeks...

the blaaaaaah kind of week.

i was thinking angry thoughts. i was being bitter. i was not being a lovely wife to my hubby. i kind of got away with it by blaming it on pms. but you can’t fool your soul. you just can’t. and you can’t fool God. oh, no you can’t fool God.

i was feeling sorry for myself. (note to self, feeling sorry for yourself is never a good thing)

i was getting mad about life and opportunities and i was feeling ugly things. 

and then i got a slap in the face. the good kind of slap in the face. the slap in the face that makes you fall to your knees. the slap in the face that opens your eyes and makes you see clearly. i heard His voice. His strong yet gentle voice. have you heard that voice? 

He was calling me. my heart heard the words, “laura, why are you so focused on what I didn’t tell you to do?” and then i heard the words that i had read only a few days before, “obedience is better than sacrifice.” 

and then i had the thought, maybe, just maybe He had closed certain doors so i would focus my attention on what He had called me to do. 

obedience is better than sacrifice. in 1 samuel 15 God was grieving. He grieved because king saul didn’t do what God asked him to do. God asked saul to “go, attack the amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them.” He gave very clear instructions. very, very clear instructions. (fyi the amalekites were very mean peeps, do some research and you’ll see that they attacked and killed the israelites when they were on their way to the promised land. and they didn’t attack the strong, able bodied israelites. they attacked the end of the line, the weak. the elderly. the children. that’s a big no-no.)

anyways…king saul didn’t do what he was supposed to do. he kept the best of the best of the amalekites stuff and kept their king alive. 

1 samuel 15:10  Then the Lord said to Samuel, 11 “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night.

God was sorry that he had ever made saul king in the first place. the niv says he was “grieved”.  

and the craziest thing was saul had no idea that he did anything wrong..scary…

And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lordhas anointed you king of Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”

20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

22 But Samuel replied,

“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
    your burnt offerings and sacrifices
    or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
    and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
    and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
So because you have rejected the command of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

obedience is better than sacrifice.

lesson learned.

i stopped striving to do what God didn’t tell me to do. even though it’s hard, even though i don’t quite understand, i will obey Him. 

oh sweet Jesus, thank You for Your grace.