“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” 1 Samuel [15:22]
Obedience is often treated as a dirty word in our modern culture.
In the verse today, however, we are reminded of how important obedience is to God. Israel saw first-hand that life and death hinged on whether they obeyed God. In establishing the covenant with Moses, God said that if the people obeyed His voice, they would be His treasured possession. This was a conditional covenant of grace. Israel was to obey, and, in return, God promised blessing.
Israel failed to obey. We have failed to obey as well. But Jesus succeeded where we failed. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience (1 Pet. [2:22]; 1 John 3:5). And His obedience is critically important to our salvation and faith (Rom. [5:19]). Jesus said that the key to our obedience as His disciples is loving Him (John [15:10]). And the key to loving Him, Jesus said, is knowing Him (John [15:15]).
Although we count on Jesus’ obedience for salvation and the foundation of our faith, obedience remains important for our lives today. Love defined biblically is obeying what Jesus commanded (2 John 1:6). Obedience is the means through which we express our love to God and the means through which we abide in relationship with Him.
To obey God, is to love Him first and love Him most.
“Obedience must be the struggle and desire of our life.” – Phillips Brooks
Father, I am fickle and prone to working things my own way. Forgive me for my disobedience and cultivate a heart in me that treasures you through obedient devotion. Amen.
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