THE SACRIFICE OF THE WICKED

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

APRIL 09, 2024

TOPIC:  THE SACRIFICE OF THE WICKED

BY T. O. BANSO

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight” (Proverbs 15:8 New King James Version).

The Bible tells us that God does not accept every sacrifice or offering. For example, God didn’t accept the offering of Cain but accepted that of his brother, Abel. “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell” (Genesis 4:3-5 New King James Version).

Why did God reject the offering of Cain and accept that of Abel? The Bible does not say the reason in Genesis 4 except that God told Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:7 New King James Version). But Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “By faith Abel.” This suggests that Cain did not offer his offering by faith so he was not accepted and his offering was rejected.

Proverbs 15:8 says, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.” (New King James Version). This shows that God doesn’t accept every sacrifice. The wicked or the ungodly must not think that he can bribe God with his offering. Nobody’s offering or gift can make God richer! Sacrifice to God without obedience to Him is a waste of resources. The Prophet Samuel told King Saul, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22 New King James Version). Obedience is better than sacrifice. What God demands first from the wicked is not sacrifice but repentance and obedience. If God does not accept the wicked; He cannot accept his offering or sacrifice.

Whereas the sacrifice of the wicked is hateful to God, the prayer of the upright is His delight, as seen in Proverbs 15:8. Proverbs 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous” (New King James Version). Also, Proverbs 28:9 says, “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (New King James Version). So prayer 

God desires our offering today, not in the manner of the Old Testament sacrifice or offering – there were five major sacrifices or offerings in the Old Testament: burnt offering, grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, and trespass offering. God doesn’t want us to offer the sacrifice of the wicked – bringing gifts to Him without obeying Him. Some people live a sinful life and come to present gifts to God in the church with the mindset that this will make God accept them. Some sinners even build and donate places of worship to God from the proceeds of their sinful business transactions! God cannot be deceived.

That some churches receive such gifts does not mean that God does. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with wicked intent!” (Proverbs 21:27 New King James Version). The wicked must stop offering unacceptable sacrifice to God and be converted or saved. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7 New King James Version).

Nobody should promote his sacrifice, offering, gifts, or even prayer above obedience to God. We must do what God has commanded us to do. Nobody should think that he can pay to receive God’s acceptance, favour, or blessing. The Prophet Micah said, “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8 New King James Version).

God is more concerned about everyone’s heart than his gifts or offerings. God is not hungry for sacrifice. He will, therefore, not accept the sacrifice of the wicked. “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. ‘If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness” (Psalm 50:10-12 New King James Version).

Our sacrifice or offering becomes unacceptable when we neglect obedience to His Word. In Jeremiah 6:20, because Israel refused to listen to God and rejected His Word, God said, “For what purpose to Me comes frankincense from Sheba, and sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet to Me” (Jeremiah 6:20 New King James Version). Comparing the rulers and people of Israel to the rulers and people of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Prophet Isaiah said a similar thing in Isaiah 1:11-15. God rejected their burnt offerings, hated their New Moons and appointed feasts, and said He would hide His eyes from them and would not hear their prayer, for their hands were full of blood.

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. Warning the people of Israel of the impending judgment despite their devotion to religious rituals instead of obedience to Him, God said, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings” (Amos 5:21-22 New King James Version).

Nobody’s offering, seed, or gift to God today in the church is superior to obedience to God. We cannot walk in disobedience to Him and think our gifts or money will be accepted by Him. God said, “But those who choose their own ways—delighting in their detestable sins—will not have their offerings accepted. When such people sacrifice a bull, it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice. When they sacrifice a lamb, it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog! When they bring an offering of grain, they might as well offer the blood of a pig. When they burn frankincense, it’s as if they had blessed an idol” (Isaiah 66:3 New Living Translation).

Don’t offer to God the sacrifice of the wicked. If you love God, you will obey Him (John 14:15). Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to obey God always and not offer the sacrifice of the wicked. I shall not promote my prayers, offerings, or gifts above obedience to God. I will not choose my way but follow God’s way.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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