"So, Samuel said: 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 heed than the fat of rams."
1 Samuel 15:32
There is an old saying "Every man has three worlds, What he perceives, what he shows to the world, and his reality. The Third one is a mystery to be lived."
I like to say your real self is who you are when no one is around and watching. We all have some level of facade that we want the world to see. It happens at home, work and church. The people of Samuel's day were intent on the visible as well, led by a king who had fallen into this trap himself. Saul believed that the details of his obedience were no so important, as long as he glossed over them with an especially visible sacrifice in the end. He brought a cover up rather than a contrite spirit.
But we are spiritual beings and must walk and live in that living sacrifice, which is obedience. If we sacrifice in any other way, our giving will be hollow at best and plainly false at worst. God wanted Samuel's sacrifice as an act of worship, submission, and reverence to God. We are to bow at the altar of God not the altar of the sacrifice.
Pastor Michael Garcia
Overseer and Pastor at First Assembly HOEN