“To obey is better than sacrifice.” This is the truth that cost King Saul his crown. The basic story is that God gave a very specific message to Saul and sadly, Saul only partially followed God’s command. Half-obedience is not obedience at all and Samuel was sent to let Saul know that the consequences of his choice would be grave.
When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the LORD bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the LORD’s command!” Cheerfulness cannot cover sin and Samuel got right to the heart of the matter. Saul’s glad greeting turned to rationalization which then turned to shifting the blame. Saul begged for forgiveness when he heard Samuel’s words: “because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
Unfortunately we are often like Saul. We rationalize here, or partially follow truth there. And then upon careful reflection we realize that our way of taking care of a situation is not obeying God’s way at all. God does not want our “sacrifice” but our loyalty. Lord, have mercy on us. Amen.