Daily Thoughts : April 14th
Isa 1:11 The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
“Ah,” says the critic, “see, I said there were contradictions in the Bible! Doesn't it say at one point that the Israelites were to offer sacrifices to God and now He says they mean nothing to Him!” Yes, that is exactly true, but that is not a contradiction. The purposes of the sacrifices were to provide a means for that embryonic nation to enter into relationship with God and to have a means of dealing with their sin so that that relationship would not be constantly broken. The sacrifices were a ‘tangible means' of them coming back to God and knowing that He accepted them. Sacrifices were to be a means of them expressing their repentance.
Now we come to Isaiah's time and we find the people carrying on godless and unrighteous lives and still performing sacrificial ritual to sooth God. The sacrifices were not an expression of their repentance; they were a sign of their managing or manipulating God – in their minds at least.
Some people go to church for the same reason, to provide just a little bit of religion to appease God. It doesn't work like that! The Lord calls us into relationship with Him and that means we live godly and righteous lives because we are receivers of His love, not because we are trying to get Him on our side, while we still do our own thing for the other 99% of our lives! Don't manipulate! Enjoy! The whole message of salvation that makes a Christian says that we are incapable of 'being good' enough (perfect) for God and so we have to accept His designated way of being right with Him. For the Old Testament Jews it was by offering sacrifices but for us New Testament believers it is by simply believing in the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who is Gods way of dealing with your sin and mine.
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