Then 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 15:22, NKJV.
The word of the Lord is to be obeyed without question; it is to be the supreme authority in our life. Saul departed from the express commandment of the Lord, and sought to quiet the compunctions of conscience by persuading himself that the Lord would accept his sacrifice and overlook his disobedience. When Samuel, the prophet, came to meet him, Saul acted as though he regarded himself as a righteous man, and exclaimed, “Blessed be thou of the Lord; I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”
But the unmistakable tokens of his disobedience were so manifest that his assertion of obedience was of little weight. “And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God.” “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. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” … The Word of God is to be of supreme authority. The Lord says, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” God could not change one tittle of His law without ceasing to be supreme. People cannot bend the law of God to suit their ideas, and, failing to bring it into harmony with themselves, they break its commands and violate its precepts. All too late the world will learn that they cannot judge the Word of God, but that the Word of God will judge them. Would that everyone would consider how foolish and how wicked it is to contend with God! Would that they would cease to oppose their will against the will of the Infinite! Those who oppose God will yet learn that in so doing they have forsaken the only path that leads to holiness, happiness, and heaven.—The Signs of the Times, January 9, 1896.