Better than sacrifice
Published 4:50 pm Thursday, April 28, 2016
Obedience is a word that stirs up all kinds of thoughts and emotions, but it is an important word throughout the Bible.
From the beginning of Exodus 39 to the end of Exodus 40, we are told 18 times that Moses and the people of Israel did as the Lord commanded them.
Remember all those regulations? God told Moses who to put in charge, what the dimensions of the tabernacle were to be, what kind of wood should be used, and how to make the priestly garments and various items that would be housed in the tabernacle.
God gave very clear instructions, and they obeyed.
Sometimes we need to be reminded that God requires obedience from us.
I think of 1 Samuel 15:22 which says, “Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.”
While it is true that we are no longer under the Law, that truth is not a license to pursue lawlessness.
The Apostle Paul asked rhetorically, “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” He then answered his own question, “By no means!” We who are in Christ are dead to sin. Therefore, we ought not continue in it.
The fact that we are not under the Law but under grace does not mean that God no longer requires anything from us.
Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commands. John said something similar in 1 John 2:3 writing, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.”
Then, once we have spoken of the obedience God requires of us, we can talk about His grace and mercy. We can talk about how Jesus was the only perfectly obedient one to ever walk this earth.
We can talk about how He took on our sin and died in our place.
None of that makes any sense though if we don’t first talk about obedience.
None of that makes any sense if we don’t first remind ourselves of what God requires of us.
Adam Blosser is the pastor of Drakes Branch Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.