To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:3)
OK – you have to be a Brazilian to understand the title, but I needed to share a bit from one of the colourful Portuguese sayings; it gets to the point of this verse. The literal translation of ‘sheesh’ da questão is to say “the X of a question,” or the main point of a matter.
God is more concerned about who we are than what we do, especially when we easily fall into the trap of thinking that the things we do for God win us merit or favour. Our righteous acts are called “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), and never earn us forgiveness or right standing with God. God is pleased when we choose to live to please him out of loving obedience, and not for what we think we might gain.
This theme rings true throughout the Bible. Consider the truth of the following verses, and allow them to shape the way you live today:
Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. (I Samuel 12:22-23)
With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with a thousand of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:6-8)