The Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio
In the first book of Samuel, chapter 15, King Saul neglects the direct commands of God. Samuel’s prophetic word in response to Saul’s sin is as follows:
Has 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 listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.
Here, in chapter 15:22-23, Samuel states clearly what the Lord’s prefers to receive from Saul. He prefers obedience, for “to obey is better than sacrifice.” It is a striking example of God’s requirements upon his people, and it is not the only instance that this juxtaposition between sacrifices and obedience is made. The people were definitely required by God to offer sacrifices; if they didn’t they could Continue reading
“Why am I in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.“ 1 Cor. 15:30-32
Paul was in danger constantly. He could say that he died every day! He fought wild beasts! His gospel ministry took him constantly into danger.
Why is Paul talking about this? The Corinthians were denying the resurrection. Paul wants them to be very clear on this: if there is no resurrection we should indeed eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. We should not be risking our life for the sake of the gospel. If we will not be raised from the dead, we should be partying! Yes, folks, non-Christians have the right idea: if this life is all there is we should maximise our fun and partying.
But this life is not all there is. If it was all there is, I can’t understand why Continue reading
My small group is currently working through the book of Hebrews. It’s extremely rich and deep in it’s teaching. One could argue that one of the main themes or purposes of the book of Hebrews is to highlight the qualifications, sufficiency and supremacy of Christ in our creation and salvation. Hebrews’ goal is to point the reader to Jesus and how He alone is our hope.