I Sam 15:22 states “But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” This verse came to mind as I was listening to Exodus on my way to work a few days ago.
In chapter 16, the Lord had delivered the Israelite people from Egypt. Then they grumbled and complained and He sent down manna from Heaven. He gave simple directions to test their obedience. Gather enough for one day. People didn’t listen they gathered more than they needed. It stank! Then on the day before the Sabbath He ordered get enough for two days. Some didn’t gather enough, so they had no food on the Sabbath.
As I listened to this, I realized how often I do the same thing. I think that I am obedient because I follow the 10 commandments, I don’t lie, steal, kill, commit adultery, etc. But God doesn’t just look at the ten big ones, He is looking for obedience in EVERYTHING. When He prompts me to talk to someone, He is looking for obedience. When he tells me not to do something, He is looking for obedience. He wants me to follow all his commands, not just the ones in Exodus 20.
Ex 20:20 states “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” God gives us those little promptings to test us, to see if we will be obedient. Obedience is better than sacrifice. He wants us to obey in everything. When we obey, we show our reverence for the Lord. When we reverence and fear the Lord, we will not sin.