Today’s Proverb is simple yet extremely complex. Here is what I mean.
The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just
than when we offer him sacrifices.
In the time of this writing, Israel held to a religious system set up in Exodus and Leviticus. In this system, the only way to atone for one’s sins or wrongdoings against God was to offer a certain type of sacrifice that matched the type of offense. The Levites, a tribe of Israel, was set aside and put in charge of this system. They were the priests, the religious leaders basically that stood between God and man. I actually find the whole system quite interesting, but won’t go into too much detail. The point is – in order for the nation of Israel to connect to God, they had to jump the hoops so to speak.
What I find interesting, is that God wanted to know his people. He wanted to be with His people, His chosen nation. What separated them was sin so the Lord setup this system through Moses so he could be close to His people.
This teaching is found elsewhere in scripture as well. Hosea says, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices.” The Prophet Micah tells us to “do what is right, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day saying, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
There isn’t a system God loves more than when we love Him, and love one another. Our church tradition, while it may or may not be useful or practical, pales in comparison to our true purpose. Our religious practices will fail if not first led by an all powerful Father. Social Justice is a great cause to fight for, but if we fight without Christ, our cause will never reach its full potential.
The point today is this – What in your life is keeping you from doing what is right and just with the people God has placed in your life?