“But Samuel replied, ‘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. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.’” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)
Any apparent worship ritual that is not accompanied by obedience is worthless to the individual and an insult to God. I is nothing more than rebellion and arrogance. Obedience to God is an indispensable part of true worship. Ceremony is necessary and important but must be accompanied by service for God, by obedience to His will. True worship beloved, is adoring and obedient love for Him and loving service to others at God’s direction.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, our obedience freely given is in honor of our relationship with You, and not as appeasement for our sins. We have confessed our sins to You and received your forgiveness. Therefore, our service for You is our way of showing others that we do this in honor of you and not as bondage. You are a loving God, and One who seeks a daily relationship with us. Today also pray those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Those who say it cannot be done are likely to be interrupted by someone doing it!”
“Then will I ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.” (Psalm 61:8)
Psalm 61 is considered a lamentation, whereby the psalmist (David) mixed the lowest possible desperation with the highest possible faith. It might have been written when David fled across the Jordan from Absalom. Prayer renews previous promises made to God and seeks life in God’s presence as the ultimate Good. Beloved worship often includes making promises to God, and then fulfilling promises made.
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifices, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)
God wants the loving obedience of His people more than He wants their animal sacrifices. Worship comes from an obedient heart filled with God’s attitudes, such as mercy. Offerings given in pride and with demands on God are simply not ever acceptable. Acknowledging God’s sovereign rule over us is the prelude to prayer and the requirement for genuine relationship with Almighty God. Remember, He desires a daily relationship and not once in awhile!
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.” (Malachi 2:13-14)
Israel lived among peoples who had no problem participating in worship services for several different gods. Marriage meant simply adding another worship service that of the spouse’s god—-to the schedule. The one true God does not accept that. He is sufficient to handle all functions attributed to any god. Giving or ceremonial worship does not remove the necessity for right living, including respect with families.
The holiness of God means unforgiven sin separates us from Him. Israel thought nothing of divorcing wives who had long been faithful for younger, more attractive foreigners. Then they entered worship and expected God to hear their prayers and accept their gifts. God refused. We must find forgiveness of sin before we can worship he holy God.
Broken relationships hurt true worship. Malachi’s generation thought worship ritual qualified them as God’s people even when they openly disobeyed God’s will for their marriages, and God showed them a different way.