“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)
Beloved, any apparent worship ritual that is not accompanied by obedience is worthless to the individual and a insult to God. It 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 is adoring and obedient love for Him and loving service to others at God’s direction.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, sadly we have not fully learned just how important true worship is to You, and how important it ought to be for us, as well. It is also the first step following worship, that we are obedient to serve You and Your will after worship. Bless all those who are hurting in body, mind, and/or spirit, that they might set aside their issues and let You deal with them on their behalf, and accept their humble repentance of their sins Abba. For those in conflicts around the world with wars and natural disasters, pour out an anointing upon them all, that they too, might feel You near them and take comfort in that knowledge. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Evil people will eventually fail; Godly people will ultimately prevail!”
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)
God want the loving obedience of His people more than He wants their animal sacrifices. Worship comes from an obedience heart filled with God’s attitudes, such as mercy. Offerings given in pride and with demands on God are not acceptable. Acknowledging God’s sovereign rule over us the prelude to prayer and the requirement for genuine relationship with God. Clear enough?
SECOND 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 in 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 serviced 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 He is sufficient to handle all functions attributed to any god. We must devote all worship and reverence to Him alone. Two offenses prevented God from accepting—-marriage to a pagan and divorce. A right spirit, not an emotional outpouring, would make the offerings acceptable. Family relationships great affect our prayer life. Giving or ceremonial worship does not remove the necessity for right living, including respect within families. Finally, broken relationships hurt true worship. Malachi’s generation thought worship rituals qualified them as God’s people even when they openly disobeyed God’s will for their marriages. God revealed to them it a different way, that this was not true and they should have known better.