In the book of 1 Samuel, chapter fifteen and verse twenty-two, the prophet Samuel makes this statement. “Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” The word obey in this verse carries an interesting definition when looked at it in its original form. The Hebrew word for obey in this verse means to hear intelligently, often with the implication of attention, obedience and causatively. In other words, it is really impossible for us to obey God unless we are hearing Him intelligently, giving Him our attention, and having an attitude that says as we hear God’s voice speak to us, His speaking to us will move us to perform the very thing He is speaking.
Having ridden along with officers and watching them give directions to those who have to either be stopped or detained, I believe that every officer would understand what Samuel is talking about in the above verse. When you as an officer speak to an actor, you are speaking words that you desire to produce a causative response. You want the actor to hear what you are saying, to understand what you are saying, and then to perform what you are saying. The only way that can happen is if the actor hears intelligently.
The same verse from 1 Samuel 15 from the MESSAGE version of the Bible says this, “Do you think all God wants are sacrifices – empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listen is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production.
I would just like to encourage the officers of the Beaumont Police Department to listen to God intelligently to the same degree that the officers want to be listened to by the people they deal with each day.
Pastor John Burk