“For I desired mercy and not sacrifice—and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
If we truly know Him and desire to become like Him, we’ll want to obey Him.
Mark Twain once said, “It’s not what I don’t know about the Bible that bothers me; it’s what I do know.” What an eternal truth springing from the lips of an earthly sage!
“It’s not what I don’t know about the Bible that bothers me; it’s what I do know.”
That’s always the case, Pilgrim—at least for those of us to claim the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord and profess to walk in His footsteps. Yet, sadly, too often we don’t really know Christ because we’re too busy doing what we want to do.
Our to-do list is long. Deadlines and time-lines cry “Urgent! Meet me now!”
We know we should spend time in secret with our Lord each day, but fail to do so—then live in guilt, rather than Grace, because, as someone said, we’ve “sacrificed the important on the altar of the urgent.”
Only those who “walk with the Lord” know His Heart and Will.
That’s why Abel knew what type sacrifice God wanted and Cain didn’t (Gen. 4:1-4). That’s why David in his “Penitent Psalm of Confession” wrote “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Ps. 51:17).
That’s also why God told Israel through the prophet Amos, “I hate, I despise your feast days and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take away from Me the noise of your songs—for I will not hear the melody of your viols. But, let judgment run down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:21-24).
So, how goes your worship/service, Pilgrim?
Is yours “heart-worship” or “head-worship”? Are you daily “seeking His Face” (II Chron. 7:14; Hos. 5:15) or are there days you even fail to think about Him at all? Remember: He’s more concerned about us. . .our attitude and actions. . .how we relate to others. . .than He is what we put in the offering place or doing many good deeds, which so often are designed to garner the applause of men.
It’s all about “knowing Him.” Knowing Him (Phil. 3:10).
Therefore, we should not any longer hesitate, contemplate or procrastinate in surrendering every part of our lives to Christ, the One Who gave everything for us. Whatever changes in scheduling we need to make, make them now. Whatever “strongholds of sin” exist in our attitude and actions, begin “pulling them down” today (II Cor. 10:3-5).
Just as we would not like it if our spouse or sweetheart only gave us the “crumbs from their life’s table,” neither should we think the Lord Jesus is pleased when we treat Him that way. He deserves our best. Let today be the day we say “Yes, Lord!” and follow Him (Lk. 9:23-26).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 28, 2010