“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21.3
There is a similar truth recorded in 1 Samuel 15.22: “And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams.”
The children of Israel had become proficient in keeping the letter of the Law, but we miles away from the spirit of the Law. It is easy for us to look back on God’s people and think, “Why didn’t they just do what God said?” Such questioning comes to us naturally. It is always to look at others and SEE where they failed God, but it is much more difficult for us to look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word and see where WE are failing.
For example, the Word of God tells us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together … ” (Hebrews 10.25), so we may think that since we attended church today, God is OK with us, and the way we are living. But allow me to suggest that many people attend church as nothing more than a social event and worshiping God never enters their mind. The mere fact that I was inside the church building does not constitute a worship experience.
Sometimes we become so conscious of how things look on the outside that we fail to realize that we have a need in the inner self. So whether we are reading Solomon’s words in Proverbs 21.3 or Samuel’s words in 1 Samuel 15.22, the truth is the same. God wants us to follow Him with a spirit that is in tune with Him, not one that is set on pleasing those who are watching us. Think about it! Just my thoughts …