But if you turn away and forsake my decree and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then will I uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for My name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among the people.
Today's message is taken from this Sunday's church school lesson where God offers blessings for obeying His statues and commands (vv 14-18) and dire warning to Samuel and the people of Israel telling them what consequences they would suffer for disobeying His statues and commandments.
God's promises are kept whether they are rewards or punishments. What one receives is predicated on the choices we make. I have always heard and been taught obedience is better than sacrifice. This saying is based on the Holy Scriptures; for example, when Israel obeyed God they prospered and when they disobeyed they were punished. Life's trials will teach us that obedience is better than sacrifice.
Another school of thought, when you pray expect an answer. Solomon prayed when he dedicated the temple; God answered and gave specify instructions as outlined in verse 14.
Obey God's commands and be blessed.
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