The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalms 50:23 ESV)
Some of us think we know what God is looking for. We’re in good company too, because for centuries folks be thinking they know what God wants.
By that, I am referring to the thought that what God wants is a sacrifice. A ritual of giving something material as a sign of acknowledging and to some degree thinking that would be enough to keep away any impending doom. Back in the day for Israel that was the literal burnt offerings of animal sacrifices. Today we have swapped that for the ritual of performance – ‘giving our best to God’ in a given time, performing our part and looking it too. As long as we think we are performing well then that is all that matters.
The Judge of the universe had something to say about that in this Psalm. Here He enters the scene to offer His assessment of proceedings and although the wicked will have their comeuppance, God also gets serious even with those that are His that claim to be following the covenant. His word is that it’s not the sacrifices that He’s all that hung about, after all, He has the whole world in His hand. What He’s really hung about and where justice matters for Him is the attitude with which we engage with Him.
No point giving Him stuff when your heart is far from Him. No point offering these sacrifices if the motives are suspect. Far better to be reminded again that we don’t perform to be accepted. Far better to acknowledge Him with an ongoing attitude of gratitude.
Sure it’s easier said than done for some, but the principle applies regardless of their situation. Even more important than winning anything and resting in that and meekly acknowledging the essential folks in the house.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden