Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. - 1 Samuel 15:22
Saul had been commanded to slay all the Amalekites and their cattle. Instead of doing so, he preserved the king and allowed te Israelites to take the best of the oxen and sheep. When called to account for this, he declared that he had done it with the idea of offering sacrifices to God. However, Samuel immediately countered him with this certain truth: sacrifices are no excuse for an act of direct rebellion.
The text for this evening is worthy to be printed in letters of gold, and to be hung up before the eyes of the present idolatrous generation. They are very fond of the fineries of worshipping their own wills, yet they utterly neglect the laws of God.
Always remember that to keep strictly in the path of your Savior's commands is better than any outward form of religion. Listening to His precepts with an attentive ear is better than bringing the "fat of rams" (1 Sam. 15:22), or any other precious thing, to place on His altar. If you are failing to keep the least of Christ's commands to His disciples, I urge you not to be disobedient any longer. All the pretensions you make of attachment to your Master, and all the devout actions that you may perform, are no recompense for disobedience. "To obey," even in the slightest thing, "is better than sacrifice" -- no matter how elaborate it is.
The first thing that God requires of His child is obedience. ... It is a blessed thing to be as teachable as a little child. However, it is a much more blessed thing, when one has been taught the lesson, to carry it out to the letter. How many people decorate their churches and adorn their clergymen, but refuse to obey the Word of the Lord! Do not be like one of them.Charles Spurgeon