Sin and Self-Deceit
A Sermon on 1 Samuel 15:22-23Read more
The story of Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22–23 is the story of someone who rationalizes and explains away their own sin. Saul was God’s chosen king over Israel, yet he disobeyed God and followed his own desires. Saul is a picture for how everyone rationalizes sin and their own rebellion; everyone feigns ignorance of their own wrongdoing and sinful desires. The answer is never found in more law-keeping because the Bible is clear that no person can keep the law but instead is called to trust in Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved and overcome sin. “To obey is better than sacrifice” Samuel declares to Saul. Christians are those that are not like Saul in that they truly repent of their sin and seek God’s grace. Christians are those that believe in Jesus Christ and trust Him alone for salvation. The message of the gospel is that humanity does not have to suffer for their sins because Christ died in their place and took sin upon Himself so that all can be saved and made righteous.
Additional Scripture Translations
1 Samuel 15:22-23, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“Does the Lord have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than a sacrifice,
And to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
23For rebellion is as reprehensible as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as reprehensible as false religion and idolatry.
Since you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
1 Samuel 15:22-23, King James Version (KJV)
22And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.