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.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He also has rejected you from being king.
1 Samuel 15:22-23
Notice how disobedience is compared to witchcraft.
Stubborness is compared to idolatry.
How do we view disobedience or being stubborn? I believe if most of us were truthful we would say we think of being stubborn as a character flaw or a struggle, but God calls being stubborn the same as worshipping idols. To be stubborn is defined as “unyielding“. When we choose to hold on to our stubborness instead of confessing and turning from our own ways, we are living an un-yielded life. I believe the opposite of being stubborn would be being broken before God.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
What does it mean to have a broken spirit and a contrite heart? To have a broken spirit is to have a deep sense of sorrow for rebelling against God and to realize how spiritually bankrupt we are without Christ. A contrite heart is to feel remorseful of our sin and to be repentant. It does not mean just feeling bad for our sin or making excuses for our sin.
So what are we to do about our stubborness and disobedience? Blame our parents, say “it’s just the way I am”, or come to God with a broken and contrite heart and repent of our sin? We need to confess our sin to God and He will be faithful and just to forgive us of our sin!
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Thank-you Lord for loving us so much that You convict us of our sin. You desire for each one of us to live holy, yielded, obedient lives. Help each one of us to stop making excuses for our sin and to see sin for the ugliness it truly is. It’s my sin that nailed you to the cross. Thank-you Lord for your forgiveness, love, and mercy. I am nothing without You Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Our service, ministry, offerings, and sacrifices mean nothing to God if we are not living in obedience to His commands. This isn’t saying that we will always be perfect, but that we will refuse to live our lives willfully disobeying God. Our obedience to God's commands is the expression of trusting Christ. It is not our words but our deeds that stand the test of Christ's gaze. Love of Jesus is measured by obedience to what he commands (John 14:15 and 15:14). "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me" (John 14:21). Not even miracles can substitute for doing what God commands (Matt. 7:22).