But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance is like the wickedness of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has rejected you as king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
The first king of Israel, King Saul, was told by God to utterly slay Amalek and his descendants. In blatant disobedience Saul allowed Agag, the king of the Amalekites and the best of the cattle to remain alive. The following day, Saul tried to remedy his disobedience by attempting to sacrifice the best of the cattle to the Lord.
But the prophet Samuel informed Saul that because of his disobedience, his family would no longer reign over Israel, and he told Saul, “to obey is better than sacrifice.” If offering the “best of the cattle” for sacrifice was a poor excuse for disobedience, its negative consequences must have paled in comparison with sparing the Amalekite King – whose infamous descendant Haman, an Agagite (Esther 3:1) later rose to power seeking to destroy the entire Jewish population of Persia.
If Saul had dealt with Agag as God instructed him, he would have spared his people, centuries later, from the agonizing contest with a vicious enemy who would destroy them. So, it is with sin. Allow it to live and be sure it will return to slay you with more power. “Small” sins lead to bigger ones, and soon enough the early footholds that are ignored will turn into strongholds. Don’t compromise. OBEDIENCE IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE!