Our actions speak louder than our words. We reveal our hearts by what we do. Let’s make sure our hearts are right with God.
Proverbs 21:3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
This verse/truth has quite a history.
- The Law was given to Moses and the Israelites in 1450 BC (thereabouts);
- Solomon wrote Proverbs during his life around 950 BC;
- Isaiah wrote these words before King Uzziah died which was in 742 BC;
- Micah prophesied from 736-696 BC;
- Jesus was on the temple grounds teaching the week of His crucifixion in 33 AD.
- What do these people have to do with this verse?
- Moses brought the law of sacrifice as the covering for our sin. It didn’t wash away sin; it simply covered it until Jesus could die for all sin. Solomon understood that the sacrifice was only ceremonial and that our real sacrifice was in our hearts, and was revealed through our deeds.
- Isaiah had this to say about the sacrifices of Judah:
Isaiah 1:11-18 “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. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool [it’s all about the relationship].”
Micah said it this way,
Micah 6:6-8 With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God [it’s all about the relationship].
Finally, we come to Mark 12:28-34 when a teacher of the law asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment. Once Jesus answered, the teacher responded with amazing insight:
Mark 12:32-34 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
Again, it’s all about the relationship. Let’s build relationships with Christ first and then with those with whom God brings us in contact. Let’s be a channel of blessing today.
For further study:
In reality, the time interval between the Exodus and Solomon’s fourth year was 479 years, not 480, thus invalidating the 12 generations concept. The Israelites left Rameses in year 1, month 1, day 15 of the Exodus era (Ex 12:1; Num 33:3). Since Solomon began to build the Temple in year 480, month 2, the elapsed time was 479 years plus between 15 and 45 days. In addition, we know from genealogical data that there were more than 12 generations between the Exodus and Solomon’s fourth year. From Heman the musician, who lived in the time of David, back to Korah, who lived in the time of Moses, there were 18 generations (1 Chr 6:33–37). Adding one additional generation takes us to the time of Solomon, resulting in a total of 19 generations, far more than the imagined 12 generations of the late-date theorists.
To determine the correct year of the Exodus, we simply add 479 to Solomon’s fourth year, 967 BC, resulting in 1446 BC.