Sunday, March 3, 2024

Obedience and Sacrifice: The Sacrifice of Fools

Broadcast 3960
Click here for the audio version:

Ecclesiastes 5:1 (NIV) Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Have you ever contemplated the story of Saul? If it were a cinema blockbuster it could well go with the title "The Rise and Fall of Saul: A King's Journey of Power, Pride, and Plunge".

Take a moment with me and consider this, what really was wrong with the supposed desire of Saul and his men to give to the Lord an offering of the fattest calves of the Amalekites? To which Samuel had given the famed response: “To obey is better than sacrifice”.

This was not an attempt to disdain sacrifice, for men such as Solomon had through sacrifice gotten the attention of the Lord. The issue is this, in seeking and pleasing the Lord, the “means” is as important as the “end”. How you do it is as important as what you do.

In the case of Saul, he totally disregarded the clear and explicit instructions of the Lord under the guise and excuse of giving Him sacrifices. The Lord saw through his act and cut straight to the heart of the matter, you cannot impress God with fatted rams, Samuel told Saul, and you don’t sacrifice obedience to the voice of God at the altar of a gift. Such displeases the Lord and incurs his wrath.

This understanding is critical, it is often lacking which is why some youths (and even the elderly), can fathom that they can win the admiration and approval of the Lord by giving him a generous portion of their income, even when their source of income is not only questionable but is in direct contrast to the expressed and explicit will of God. An income of iniquity cannot be washed by an offering from same.

I mean that monies made from internet fraud can never be found acceptable by God, even if a supposed Pastor convinces you to the contrary. You can’t awe God with your gifts, nor woo him with your giving. He owns all things. Consider the words of Apostle Paul, “If I surrender all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames and have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:4), juxtapose this with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching” (John 14:24a).

In our text today, we are admonished to draw near to the Lord to hear, so as not to play the fool thinking we are pleasing God. What is your mindset concerning fellowship and the gathering of God’s people? Do you see it as an opportunity to learn more of the Lord? Have you learned yet what it takes to please the Lord?

Go into today with renewed zeal to know the Lord and to walk in a manner that is pleasing unto him.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

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Bible In 1 Year: Psalms 15-17 (In Today's Audio)

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