That question may sound quite negative to you. It may sound more like a burden than a blessing. But God made it clear to Israel that His requirements were essential to their relationship with Him. God requires no less of His people today. To experience redemption from the life of sin and death, to know God, and to have an abundant, eternal life with Him, we, too, must meet His requirements.
“With what shall I come before the LORD, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8)
Israel was commanded by God to offer sacrifices at the Temple altar on a regular basis. But He was not pleased with their many offerings. Even if they were to make the ultimate sacrifice by offering their own child to Him, He would not accept it. Why?
King Saul did not obey God but sought to appease Him by offering sacrifices to Him (1 Samuel 15:22-23). God did not and does not accept such offerings from those who are disobedient (Micah 6:6-8). In fact, He abhors such hypocritical worship and service. God wants us to obey Him from our hearts.
When David sinned with Bathsheba, God did not want more offerings from David (Psalms 51:16-17). He wanted David to realize, acknowledge, confess, mourn over and repent of his sin. God accepts us when we bring to Him a broken and contrite heart; a humble heart ready to listen and obey Him in everything.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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