Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 21:3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. 4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
Drifting From Shore
You know we can do a lot of things in this body. Solomon mentions sacrifice as being one thing we might do. In his day Jewish people would bring Sacrifices to the temple that were supposed to show their obedience to God from their heart. It was supposed to show how they trusted God and his word and somehow God was going to make everything right and they would be accepted by God and their sins would all be forgiven. Of course these sacrifices pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of Gods own Son even though they only saw this promise dimly through a veil. Oh, the promise was sure enough alright. God spoke about it after mans fall in Genesis 3… God told the patriarchs and Gods prophets spoke of it time and time again… They told how the Messiah would come and heal the sick and preform miracles and live a righteous life doing what Adam and Eve and all of us failed in doing... and how he would be paid the wages of our sin on the Cross and God would look away so we might who hope in him might be given his righteousness and have fellowship with God... even how he would rise from the grave... still it was in the foggy shadows… though now like a Monday morning quarterback it is clear as day. However they still accessed this promise and we’re given confidence and guaranteed hope through faith in Gods word.
Now, much of Israel though began to offer sacrifices to God in a legalistic manner and not from a heart that hoped in the coming Messiah doing for us what we could not but in their own conceptions and rationalizations of his coming and being justified not in his work but their own works. They dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s in their keeping of Gods Law including offering the sacrifices. They set themselves up as teachers of others and became proud and haughty as today's verses say.
I think this is a great lesson for me today, even a s a believer in Christ. At times I wake up and find I have been drifting from shore. I have been doing the deeds… I have been in Gods word… I have been sharing and teaching and serving others in my body… However my own heart has been slacking in loving Jesus as I should. How did I get here? What went wrong? Where did I start going astray?
Then I begin to think back… last week or last month or whenever it was I am thinking… that is when my heart began to stray. Instead of finding my joy in the grace of God through Jesus… Instead of being satisfied in his word… Instead of resting in the peace that passes understanding… Maybe I decided then to began flipping the TV channels more as though I might find just the right thing to satisfy me… Could be that I clicked on a few moderately safe links in my social media secretly hoping they would take me somewhere else… Oh I still read Gods word every day… I still shared him… I even found myself rejoicing in what I seemed to have accomplished for God. But my rejoicing was not in Jesus my righteousness… During those times it may be that many of my sacrifices were not being done out a heart for God…
Today's text talks about people who are walking in sin yet they are doing some of the same deeds that those walking close to the Lord are doing. But the wicked person does them on the outside only and not from a heart that abides in the Lord. Only when we our heart walks in the love of God can we truly teach others in humility, do righteous deeds and show justice.