Our Willingness To Sacrifice
But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. 1 Sam. 15:9
How willing were Saul and the people to sacrifice? How much were they willing to give up for God? According to Saul they were taking the best of what the Amalekites had to sacrifice to God (v.21), but they were not obeying God. As Samuel pointed out in verse 22 of chapter 15: “to obey is better than sacrifice”.
Saul and the people were not saving the best for God - they were unwilling to give up the best for God! They were told to destroy all of the Amalekite people and possessions, but the best they “were unwilling to utterly destroy”. However, they were willing to destroy the despised and worthless things.
It was easy for them to give up the worthless things. It was no challenge to sacrifice what they didn’t like - what they “despised”. This is the same for anyone: it is easy to give up what we don’t like. On the other hand it is rather difficult to give up what we do like.
If we are required to give up something, it doesn’t matter whether we like it or not. We must be willing to sacrifice whatever is needed in order to be obedient to God. The king of the Amalekites would be a grand possession along with the best sheep, oxen, fatlings, and lambs. Those would all be desirable things for Saul and the people to have, but it was something that needed to be given up.
God gave of the best of heaven: Jesus, His son! How little does anything and everything that we have compare to that great sacrifice! Surely, we can try to have that proper willingness to sacrifice whatever is needed. If there are any things that could hinder us from making it to heaven - no matter how much we like those things - we must give them up.
Not only must we sacrifice those things that hinder us, but we must offer up what is good - things like praise (Heb. 13:15-16). We need to be willing to give up the bad and offer up the good: we must be willing to sacrifice!
-- John Thrower Jr.