To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. (Proverbs 21:3-4 KJV)
Today's verses from the book of Proverbs tell us that doing right is more important than sacrificing anything and that man's pride and life without God is sinful. Verse 3 emphasizes that God is more interested in a daily life that is integral toward Him and toward his fellowman, than one who might sacrifice by fasting or giving a large offering or giving up something that is important to us. In fact, a daily life that is unselfish and one of uprightness before God and man is the very reason God has us sacrifice. He wants to lead us into a righteous life style that is steadily maintained instead of one that is up and down with Him.
Our human nature is one that we tend to coast at times. We slack off doing the things that we should. It is not easy to live a disciplined life unto the Lord where we pray, read our Bible, reach out, and walk in faith in all things. Sometimes we think the outward things like doing good works and giving our tithes and offerings are sufficient to please God. However, God is after a relationship with us and a heart attitude that is one of mercy, and a walk of faith. In the New Testament Jesus spoke these words to some religious people known as scribes and Pharisees:
Matthew 23:23: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
In verse 4 God deals with another thing that He hates and that is "pride." The definition of pride in this verse is an attitude of haughtiness. When a man thinks more highly of himself than he ought to think, he is then a prideful man. Earlier in the book of Proverbs we found a list of seven things that God hates and pride was at the top of the list.
16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
The Bible also says in the New Testament that God resists the proud and exhorts us to humble ourselves to God.
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Our study verse tells us that not only is pride sin, but even the good things in this world like food (tillage) and entertainment (lamp of joy), without God become sin. God made the things of this world for man to enjoy, but when we seek those things first and leave out God they become sin to us. He told us to seek Him first and then all those things would be added unto us.
1 John 2:16-17:
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Prayer for the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father, I am thankful that You have always supplied all of my needs. Help me to always trust You and not to worry about having a supply of food and clothes and the other things that I need in this world, but to just seek You and Your will daily in my life. Lord, I want to be more concerned about having a pure heart in Your sight than any material thing. Lord, I humble myself in Your sight and ask You to remove all pride and critical attitudes from my heart. Give me a heart of mercy and love for others and most of all, I want to always love You and follow You in all things. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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