Mon. May 20th, 2024

1. 1 Samuel 28:3-6

During the time of prophet Samuel there was no king to rule the nation of Israel but there were only judges. Now Prophet Samuel who was a priest as well as a judge grew old, and the Philistines were continuously waging war against the Israelites. So, the people of Israel came to Prophet Samuel and asked for a king who could rule them, fight against the Philistines, and protect them. Prophet Samuel took this matter to God in prayers and God answered his prayers and said to him to anoint a young man called Saul as the king of Israel. Samuel did what God told him to do and Saul became the king of Israel and started fighting the battles against the Philistines.

Whenever the Philistines gathered their forces for the battle; Saul would enquire of the Lord in prayers and God would answer him and give him victory over the Philistines. Years passed by and one day the Philistines gathered their forces and were preparing for the battle. As usual Saul went to enquire of the Lord in prayers, but this time God was completely silent and did not answer his prayers. Desperate Saul did not know what to do and went in his own strength to fight the battle and in the battle the Philistines defeated him and killed him along with his sons the same day. What a tragic death!

Many a time’s people offer many sacrifices to God like Saul was offering for e.g., they fast, pray, give towards God’s work, serve God etc. Yet God does not answer their prayers and they become desperate in life and ask God a question, ‘I am sacrificing a lot for You and Your kingdom, but Lord why are you not answering my prayers? Where are you? I am suffering so much why don’t you wipe my tears? But God is silent and there is no answer. My dear people of God do you know the reason for such unanswered prayers?

2. 1 Samuel 15:22-23

King Saul in his initial years of his rule was very humble, loyal and was faithfully doing the will of God but gradually once he was established in his kingship, he became very proud, arrogant, and rebellious and was unfaithful to the will of God. He was offering many sacrifices to God but was not obedient to the voice of God and was doing his own will instead of doing Gods will so God was very much annoyed on him and rejected him as a king of Israel and He spoke through Prophet Samuel and said to Saul that ‘Obedience’ is better than sacrifice and without answering Saul’s prayers God left him to die in the hands of his enemy the Philistines. Really very sad thing that the Almighty God of Israel anointed Saul the first king of Israel for His glory but Saul disobeyed God by doing his own will and by walking according to his carnal mind and not according to the spirit and so he died a miserable death in the hands of his enemies the Philistines. The reason why God does not answer many of the people’s prayer after offering so many sacrifices is that they only offer sacrifices to God, but they have no obedience to the voice of God and the voice of God itself is the Word of God. Your number of sacrifices that you offer to please God will do you no good unless you walk in obedience to His commands and His laws.  

3. Isaiah 1:11-17

There is a vast difference between religiosity and spiritualism. Religious people are those people who try to please God by offering a lot of sacrifices in other words several religious activities that their religion commands them to do and they think that God is pleased with them and will bless them, and they will have eternal life. Spiritual people are those people who try to please God by not only offering sacrifices but along with sacrifices they walk in the fear of God and do whatever the Word of God commands them to do. Sacrifice without obedience is only ritualism.

4. Micah 6:6-8

During our Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry there were Pharisees and teachers of the law who used to go to the synagogue regularly to pray; and they would fast, give one tenth to God’s work and serve God etc and would call themselves righteous, but God called them hypocrites because they had no obedience to the word of God instead they were only offering sacrifices that their religion commanded them to offer. Therefore, the word of God tells us in Mathew 5:20 unless our righteousness surpasses those of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, we will not enter the kingdom of God.

My dear people of God do you know why did Lord Jesus Christ call them hypocrites? He called them hypocrites because they would offer sacrifices, but they were not walking in truth and justice but were living in falsehood, cheating, manipulation, deceit, and they were also merciless towards their brethren. Though they were teaching the right thing from the Word of God, but they were not following what they were preaching. So, God called them hypocrites and such people are religious and not spiritual, therefore they do not belong to the family of God.

[2Timothy 3:1-5] The Word of God tells in the Bible that in the last days (these are the last days) some people will have only form of Godliness in other words they will just wear religious mask but will have no fruit of the Spirit which are the qualities of Christ [mentioned in Gal 5:22-23]. So, the Word of God tells us in 1 Peter 4:17-18 that judgement will first begin from the house of God, and many will not survive among them who only offer sacrifices and do religious activities but deny justice, mercy, and faithfulness to their fellow-beings by not walking in love with one another and showing no righteousness, holiness, and truth in them. In the book of Hosea 6:6 our God tells us that He desires mercy from His chosen people and not sacrifice. He tells us in 1 Samuel 15:22 obedience is better than sacrifice.

Therefore, if God should answer our prayers and bless us, then along with sacrifices we should be obedient to the Word of God. We should not only be religious but also spiritual by obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!


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