“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. 3To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21.2-3
I believe most of us would agree with the first statement: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes … ” We pretty much think that what we do is “right”. So what does this second phrase mean? “ … but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” Isn’t it enough for God to just SEE what we do? After all, we prayed about it. But God is looking at our hearts – that part of us that controls WHAT we do and WHY we do it. Funny thing about God; He wants to know our motive for what we do. Do we do things to simply satisfy our ego? Do we do things so others will look at us and say, “Wow, that was really something that you did”? Do we do things just to make us “feel good”? We may even say, “But I made a real sacrifice to do that. Doesn’t that count for something?”
This is where v. 3 comes into play: “3To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said on more than one occasion: “Do right! If the stars fall, do right!” Solomon is saying here that it is best for us to do justice (to do what is righteous). When we seek God’s face genuinely and wait for His answer, and then we seek to do everything He has told us to do, we are doing what is righteous.
In 1 Samuel 15.22, Samuel spoke these words to King Saul: “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 that the fat of rams.” I was visiting with a member of my adult Sunday School class several years ago. He had come to town to attend Bible college. At one point in the conversation, he looked at me and said, “I gave up a lot to come here. I sacrificed my career to go to Bible College.” And his hand swept toward a wall in his living room where he had displayed all his accomplishments and said, “Look what I have accomplished.” In my calmest voice I looked at him and said, “I want you to take a look at the cross and then tell me what you have sacrificed.”
Some things are more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Not my words, but the words of Solomon. Just my thoughts …