“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.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
What does God want?
The same thing any parent wants. He wants his children to listen and obey.
Why does he command?
Why does any parent command? He wants his children to grow and be safe and be good and be everything that they could be.
This preacher’s story is attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I sure like the idea:
A missionary translator was struggling to find a word for obedience. There are a lot of words that are hard to move from one language to another. One day, he called his dog. When the dog came running, one of the locals praised the dog and said, “Your dog is all ear!”
That became the perfect idiom for obedience: “to be all ear.”
Do we listen and hear what God is telling us? Do his words go in one ear and out the other?
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)