Psalm 51:17 (KJV) “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Have you wondered why God rejected Cain’s offering and accepted Abel’s? As a child, the response was simple; Cain offered rotten and very bad fruits while Abel, the best; spotless and well-fattened calf. Then as an adult, it was told that Cain brought an offering from the earth which the Lord had cursed, while Abel killed an animal spilling its blood, adumbrating the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Both explanations obviously had their place and were helpful, but a careful examination of the scriptures shows something you probably have not considered as the reason why Cain’s offering was rejected. It is simply that the person of Cain was not pleasing to God (Genesis 4:5). The question however still remains, why?
According to our text, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit”. This was buttressed in Psalm 4:5 (KJV) when the psalmist wrote, “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness”. From both scriptures, it is obvious that the sacrifice of the Lord is not money, animal, fruit, or anything that men will normally bring as a sacrifice. These things however can be used to express the state of a man’s heart.
Every action and character is a spiritual commodity for engaging in spiritual transactions. You will invite or host the spirit whose nature the character or action you exhibit agrees with and it is this spirit that will accept you and your sacrifice.
For God, any attitude, character, and action borne out of a contrite heart (a heart that is right before God and holds only things that are godly) will please the Lord and draw you nearer to him.
No wonder, Jesus in Matthew 5:23-24 (KJV) said, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift”. This buttressed the fact that God requires more than the gift, he wants pure hearts.
Go into today knowing that every action you exhibit, attitude, character, and belief you imbibe are all sacrificial items to spirits. Your gifts and offerings will be accepted by the spirit whose lifestyle you imbibe.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live in a manner that is pleasing to you so my sacrifices can be accepted by you, amen!
—Dr. Emmanuel James
Yearly Bible Reading: Psalms 33-35 (In Devotional Audio)
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