1 Samuel 15:22
And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold…
Consider some of the lessons of instruction which we may derive from the narrative.
1. Learn, first, that whenever God's commands are plain we are not to question or alter them so as to suit our inclinations, but implicitly to obey them. Have we no Sauls among God's professing people at this day — persons who perform some duties, and neglect others equally imperative upon them? Is our obedience thus partial? Are there some sins in which we live continually, some duties which we constantly neglect? Think not that the discharge of one duty will be any excuse for the neglect of another; nay, rather be assured that this itself proves your heart not to be right with God.
2. Learn from this subject that if we would have our sins forgiven, we must be deeply sensible of the evil of them, and confess them heartily unto God. Such was far from being the case with Saul. Hear him represent his own cause, and you can scarcely find anything wrong, even in those transactions in which you are sure there must be great blame.
3. Learn, again, from the narrative to be solicitous for the honour that cometh from God, and not for that of men. We see that Saul, when convicted by Samuel of having so imperfectly executed the commission God had given him, is far more anxious that he should pay him respect before the elders and the people than that be should pray, to God for him that his sin might be pardoned. And such is the case with formalists in general: they are anxiously sensitive to the opinion of their fellow creatures; comparatively careless about the estimation in which they may be held by the great Ruler of heaven and earth.
4. Learn. lastly, from this account, that, though Almighty God bear with much long-suffering the conduct of sinners, He will at length execute righteous judgment; and that be forgets neither the injuries nor the benefits done to his people. The Amalekites had unjustly opposed Israel on their departure out of Egypt: their descendants imitated the conduct of their fathers, and now God determined their destruction. "It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels." (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams.