Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams—1 Sam.
Our Heavenly Father wishes us to be very attentive to His Word, and not to think for a moment that we can improve thereon, or that times and circumstances will alter the propriety of our obedience to Him. Let us hearken to the Word of the Lord and keep close to it, not fearing the results, but having faith that He who keeps us never slumbers nor sleeps, and is too wise to err, as well as is competent to meet every emergency that could possibly come upon us as a result of our obedience.
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By sacrifice we understand our denial of our rights, while putting our humanity to death in God's service, to be meant. Such self-denial in efforts to serve God, though it should consume our humanity, if rendered contrary to the Lord's will, is not acceptable to God. Better are we without it, while rendering obedience, than with it in disobedience. But it is best when we render such sacrifice with obedience.
Parallel passages: Num. 14: 24; 1Sam. 12: 22; 1Chron. 28: 9, 10, 20; Psa. 40: 6; 51: 16, 17; 69: 30, 31; Prov. 21: 3; Eccles. 5: 1; Ezek. 9: 5-10; Hos. 6: 6; Mic. 6: 6-8; Matt. 9: 13;
Mark 12: 32, 33; John 12: 26; 13: 17; 14: 15, 21; 1John 2: 3-6.
Questions: Have I this week sacrificed contrary to, or in harmony with the Lord's will?
Have I refrained from sacrifice? Under what circumstances? Why? How?
OH, my soul is filled with its yearning,
Dear Lord, and my heart is sad,
I long, how I long, to be spreading
The Truth that hath made me glad!
And the fields are white to the Harvest,
The daylight is almost spent,
I see all about me the reapers,
On their holy mission sent;
But mine eager hands Thou hast folded,
In weakness upon my breast;
Thou hast whispered, "I know thy longings,
My will for thee is to rest."
Then alone with Thee in the twilight,
My poor, throbbing heart grows still,—
Since Thou closest my door of service,
I bow to Thy sovereign will.
I know "to obey and to hearken"
Ofttimes proves the greater test,—
At Thy feet would I lie forever,
If thus I might serve Thee best!
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