Have you ever noticed that our temptation to sin is at a crossroad? Satan knows what he’s doing!
(19) As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.
If we want to know what is really important to a person, just look at his life. His priorities will tell the tale. Each decision we make moves us in one direction or another.
(18) The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored.
We guard what is important to us. It becomes a priority. Hence, we are known by our deeds just as a tree is known by its fruit (Jesus-Matt. 7:20). We could easily substitute “master” with “boss,” “marriage,” “mind,” etc. We protect what is important to us.
(11) Be wise, my son [child], and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt [when someone speaks against the LORD, He can use us as trophies of His grace and examples of His goodness and kindness].
This verse is the Lord’s exhortation to us to make Him a priority in our lives. We bring joy to His heart when we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and with all our strength (Mark 12:30). Satan knows this and works to disrupt and destroy our fellowship with the Lord.
Does sacrifice bring joy to God’s heart? Only when it is accompanied by a heart that is broken over sin and is contrite (repentant) about it. Consider these verses:
22 “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22
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 51:16-17
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 [Jesus quoted this verse twice: Matthew 9:13 and 12:7]
8 He has shown you, O mortal, 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. Micah 6:8
As we can see, God is much more interested in our relationship with Him than He is our sacrifice to Him. When we choose to spend time with the LORD in His Word and in prayer, when we choose to fellowship with other believers, when we give up anything that causes us to worship anything or anyone other than our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ, we have, indeed, made our sacrifice to Him. We don’t get to choose what that sacrifice is; He does that through circumstances. If we are walking with Him, then our choices will be made for us by virtue of where He leads.
Jesus had just made a stunning statement to His wannabe disciples:
“Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” John 6:53
Now, WE KNOW that He was making a metaphoric statement about His flesh being His body, which was the final sacrifice for our sin and was nailed to the cross, and His blood being the final sacrifice for our forgiveness that was poured out on that cross. They just wanted something to eat. So they turned away.
Jesus turned to His twelve disciples and asked them, 66 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter answered for all of them and for all of us: 67 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 68 “We have come to believe that you are the Holy One of God.”
Peter’s answer is why we get up in the morning and meet with the Lord. It’s why we listen to Him constantly and consistently throughout the day. It’s why we desire to be like Him rather than please our momentary desires. It’s why we fight temptation and work to be holy. We drink from His “living water” that He has given us and has become in us “a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).” We live for Him because He is worth living for!* May we, indeed, live for Him today.
Abba, I pray that these verses will inspire the readers to seek Your face and Your fellowship. It’s what You desire most. I know that positionally, we are already pleasing to You because we are in Christ. Now, we want to take every advantage of our position in Him by paying close attention to our relationship with Him. May we guard and protect that trust with our lives. I want to be known as a man after Your own heart, even as David was. Make it so, Father God, make it so. Amen.
*Sorry for the bad grammar, Hillary. Emphasis was needed. It should have read, “We live for Him because He is worth for what we are living.” It just didn’t have the “pop” I wanted.