The Mahatma Gandhi said…

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

Proverbs 21: 3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

I don’t know why, but somehow we all have the inclination to believe that God would be satisfied with the empty ritual. We go through the motions, but it does not change our lives. The Lord is not interested in the empty ritual, in sacrifices and offerings, but in righteousness and justice, says the poet (21:3). Almost every other proverb in this chapter reflects on these words of the poet. When we worship with the wrong intent, the Lord hates it (21:27). The chapter reflects on different wrong intentions. If we bring offerings but we think that we are better than others (21:4), deceiving another in order to make a fortune (21:6), show no compassion with our fellow human beings (21:10), shut our ears to the cry of the poor (21:13) and cause hurt in the lives of other people with our words and deception (21:23,28), we should not think for one moment that the Lord feels happy about our “faithful” service and worship. The Lord hates it.

The Lord is not interested in rituals as a substitute for love towards Him and our fellow human beings (see Amos 5:21-24; Is 1:10-17). There is no way that we can fool God. When we go to church every Sunday, or give the highest amount of money to the church, but justice and righteousness do not accompany it, we could just as well stay at home and keep our money to ourselves.

Lord, let me live with integrity before you, full of love for you and my fellow human beings, in the Name of Jesus Christ, the compassionate Lord. Amen.