Max loves to ride in the car. In fact, next to eating ice cream, riding is his favorite thing to do, and he’s learned to catch the signals of when we are about to leave. As soon as I pick up my keys, Max is at the door, tail sticking straight out and nose pressed against the jam so he can scoot out the moment I turn the knob.
“Not this time, Max,” I said. “You’re staying home.”
He didn’t budge.
“Max, you’re staying,” I repeated, this time more firmly.
He looked up with sad, puppy eyes. I shook my head. Do dogs have shoulders? If they do, his slumped. His head lowered and he slunk to the window. Front paws propped against the sill, he watched as we pulled from the driveway.
Now that was a pathetic sight, I tell you. And yet my heart thrilled at his obedience. And suddenly, I understood why God said to obey is better than sacrifice. Sometimes, He may ask us to do or endure something we totally do not understand. It may even break our hearts. The separation we feel during the struggle between doing our will and doing God’s tears at our faith. But God is patient. And He waits…to see if we will obey.
1 Samuel 15:21-23 (New King James Version)
21 But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”
22 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. 23 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.”