“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.”
Before you give God anything in worship, you must first come before him with a broken heart. God despises ritual without repentance. Religious ritual can be very misleading for people. It can easily create a false sense of spiritually. In this Proverb, Solomon tells us that God has no interest in the worship services and religious rituals of people who refuse to obey him.
There is no subtlety here. Note the strong language: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.” In other words, when the Lord sees unrepentant people participating in worship services, he sees it as an abomination.
Strong words indeed!
This is not the only place in the OT where the Lord communicates this message. In the opening chapter of the book of Isaiah, the Lord makes this declaration to the people of Jerusalem and Judah:
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.” (Isaiah 1:11-14)
Through the prophet Amos, the Lord sent the same message to the northern tribes of Israel: “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.” (Amos 5:21-23)
Again, there is no ambiguity here. God hates sacrifices, prayers, and worship that do not come from a sincere and repentant heart. God despises ritual without real repentance.
In Psalm 51, David tells us that the sacrifices the Lord wants from us is a broken and contrite spirit. He wants us to come before him humbly and with a repentant heart.
“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:16-17)
Before you give God anything in worship, make sure that you first give him a contrite heart.
Today’s worship song is “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Austin Stone worship. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/z65YxhqY0_E