You’ve heard the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” but this time Solomon speaks of bad intentions. From bad to worse is this sacrifice!
We have already heard how God does NOT bless the sacrifices of the wicked. God ISN’T talking about the ‘sacrifice’ someone brings for their first time before Him. This is the ‘sacrifice’ that is made to make others THINK they are serving the Lord. Hypocrisy; a sacrifice that does NOT reflect the heart of the person. God HATES these!
When the people would bring individual sacrifices their hearts HAD to be included in the ‘deal’. I’m not talking about human sacrifice or their literal heart. I’m speaking of having their hearts truly set on God as they make this offering; with EVERY intention of never going back to the sin they were doing to begin with. This was the kind of sacrifice God would accept. Those who came out of ritual observance and NOT with a repentant heart were NOT accepted or blessed by God. And those who did it to gain something for themselves REALLY riled God.
The first time we see God’s reaction to a ‘self-serving’ sacrifice is when two of Aaron’s sons offered fire and incense that was NOT commanded by God. I’m pretty sure they were doing this to be given even more esteem in the eyes of the people. They were already heads of the priesthood, just under their father Aaron who was high priest. But instead of being satisfied with their placement they thought to elevate themselves even more in the people’s eyes by offering fire too, just as their father had done. God DID NOT accept this evil sacrifice. They, and the people, found out immediately how angry God was with this abomination. They were burned alive in an instant for their arrogance and disobedience.
God STILL does not accept ‘sacrifices’ or ‘offerings’ that are brought to him with self-serving intentions. Yes, one reason to come to Him is for forgiveness, and that actually profits the one who comes. But when our ‘sacrifices’ are only done to make us look good to others, God rejects them.
During a hard time in my life, I was listening to a radio program on fasting for specific concerns. At that time I was trying to sell my house. I was working and living in a different town and I had to rent my house out in order to afford the house payment and rent for my family. I decided it might be a good idea to try fasting for the sale. I appointed one day a week as the day I would bring my prayers and sacrifice to Him for help. This would have been fine with Him, except that I started talking about it to other people. I truly believe I got to the point of bragging about it.
Long story short, God did bring a buyer for my house but I was required to pay in order for the deal to close. I was flabbergasted at the time. But God was STILL looking out for me. I had just received our income tax refund a few days earlier. The plan was to use the money for something fun for my kids but instead, nearly all of it went to the sale. GOD provided what I needed at just the right moment but He also let me know He was NOT happy with me for my attitude.
I TRULY believe that if I had come to Him in the right spirit, I would have been spared the added expense. But then I would have missed out on the miracle of His provision. I didn’t recognize the miracle at the time though because I was disappointed. I can see it clearly now and praise Him for the blessings He DIDN’T have to give me.
A RIGHT attitude is as important as coming to Him in the first place. Right motives mean a LOT! For Aaron’s sons it was the difference between life and death.
Father God, thank You for reminding me of Your faithfulness! Thank You for loving me enough to answer my need in spite of my attitude. Thank You for bring this lesson to my heart today too. I don’t know if I put it all together until just now. Don’t let me fall into that pit again PLEASE Father. Let me NOT become proud of sharing our time together too! I want to ALWAYS have the RIGHT attitude and the RIGHT reasons in everything I do.