My Sacrifice, O God...

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:13-17

We know from Luke 3:8, from the preaching of John the Baptist, that we need to “bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance. . .” If we go on sinning as if nothing happened, if we confess a sin and resolve to make it right but never follow through, then a prayer of penitance was worthless. Hebrews 10:26 states, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” And Paul makes the same point in Romans 6:1-2. How can we possibly keep sinning after supposedly purifying ourselves from that same sin? So David seeks to act the way a purified person ought to act! He chooses to teach others about the Truth and convert sinners to the path of righteousness. He chooses to sing with his tongue instead of spread lies with it. He chooses to make a spiritual sacrifice from his heart rather than slaughter a few animals and walk away feeling proud of himself. He makes his path straight and follows God with all his heart!

After all, we find in the text that God does not need sacrifices of lambs and other animals unless there is sincere motivation behind it. In 1 Samuel 15:22, we read, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifice, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?” In Proverbs 21:3, the writer states, “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Of course, none of this is meant to diminish the importance of sacrifices – it was a command from God that the Israelites fulfill this obligation, and complete obedience to the Law was required of these people.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” There is certainly more to “church” than just showing up for attendance. Today, some Christians feel that by having their names on the directory of a “faithful” church of Christ, that automatically means they get into Heaven free. They think that perfect attendance is something that God will give them a golden star for! But without motivation and without spiritual, heartfelt, genuine sacrifice to God, we are worthless and not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.