Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? Amos 5:25.
The answer to the question is ‘yes’, however, Acts 7 holds Stephens account before the Jewish council, with verse 42 repeating Amos 5:25. Was it to me you were sacrificing during those 40 years in the desert? Verse 43 is a qualifier - No, your real interest was in your heathen gods.
Yesterday, our 7 year old grandson Micah was having a conversation with us regarding a theft that had occurred. He wanted to know why God couldn’t just make the person ‘give it back’. We talked about the goodness of God in giving every person the very special gift of choice. We took the conversation from the thieves choice to steal around to our own choices we make to obey.
As we grow, we find sophisticated ways to offer up our sacrifices (do the right things while others are looking) while we continue to serve our hearts desires. BUT GOD looks at the heart and so so so desires the heart of man TO WANT TO want Him! Oh that I would truly love him, not only in words, but in deed and truth, with all my heart and all my soul, all my mind and strength. Jesus quoted from Isaiah when he said These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far removed from me.
When we engage our hearts in pure worship of God, we find ourselves loving Him for who He is. Gratefulness and thanksgiving pour from our lips as we acknowledge all He Has done for us. Faith and confidence rise as we join ourselves to Him, feed on Him and receive all of His goodness and mercy.
God allowed Israel to go after their other Gods. God allowed Israel to play the harlot. God allowed the adultery. God allowed the excesses of life. God allowed the misuse of provision. I find it interesting that some of the provision God sent them out of Egypt with was used to build the golden calf. In all of this, all the people had a promise from God that came with conditions that when met, guaranteed fulfillment but He left the choice up to then.
Behold I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days…” Deuteronomy 30:19.
It is recorded in Deuteronomy 31:27 that Moses said, “ For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death?”
We can stay assured of being able to resist temptation when it comes by “hiding his word in our heart so that we might not sin against him”. . We are a Kingdom of Priests showing forth the praises of Him who has redeemed our lives. We put on a garment of praise and the fruit of our lips give thanks to Him. This is an acceptable sacrifice. Obedience is an acceptable sacrifice. Our sacrifices and offerings are a life that is humbled before Him with worship, in Spirit and in truth.
This is His acceptable sacrifice, one that he receives.