Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saul's fall

"This poem [I Samuel 15:22-23] creates an important contrast between sacrifice and obedience. The sacrifice in view here is not focused on the elimination of sin but rather functions as a gift to God signifying one's entire devotion to Yahweh. A gift such as this to Yahweh, however is no substitute for obedience to Yahweh (בקול + שמע), and when the worshiper does this he or she is using the sacrifice to manipulate the deity and as a result reveals the hypocrisy of the act. This statement does not represent a rejection of the priestly sacrificial system, but does reflect the broader deuteronomic agenda, already discerned in the book of Deuteronomy, to place a premium on practical obedience from the heart over ritual fulfillment.”—A Severe Mercy, page 154

<idle musing>
We never learn, though, do we? We still try to manipulate God until we finally surrender to him.
</idle musing>

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