NT Connect: Mark 12:28-34
Weekly Reading: 1 Samuel 13-17
A Pleasing Sacrifice
“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22-23, NASB).
“To love Him will all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength and to love one’s neighbor as himself is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:33, NASB).
Saul was king but had clearly disobeyed the Lord and admitted to Samuel that he had sinned because he feared the people and listened to their voices instead of God. It is much easier to offer a sacrifice of time or treasure than to obey something the Lord is clearly telling us to do. It is easier to appear religious than to have a heart devoted to God. Samuel had the hard job of calling out the king on his disobedience and making it clear what kind of heart the Lord was looking for.
As Mark states the same is true for us under the new covenant of Christ. He desires a heart change toward obedience. Not only does God desire a heart change in us, but he works to make that change possible. Jesus came to give us a heart that is tuned and tender toward the things He desires for us. He offered himself as a pleasing sacrifice to God in order that we might love and obey him.
God saw the kind of heart he desired in David, the next king he anointed, after Saul. David was not perfect in his actions but God saw that his heart was teachable and moldable to do the Father’s will. What has God been asking you to obey in your home, your work, your thought life that you have been ignoring but on the outside the sacrifice of your time toward church or your money has made you feel justified?
Are we loving Jesus will all our heart, understanding and strength and out of that love then loving others? What would that look like in your home, your job, your recreation?