(#93) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:8-Wasted Worship

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:8-10: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness. Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die” (Proverbs 15:8-10).

“Wicked” denotes evil intent, corrupted purpose, someone who feeds on sins. This is NOT referring to anyone who gives in to temptation and sins, or a good person who gets led astray, or one who tries to do right and fails! That said, this proverb shows God will not accept “sacrifice” (worship) from a “wicked” person, but rejects it as “an abomination.” “The way” is wicked, “the sacrifice” is wicked, and to “forsake” God’s Way is wicked. Before Noah’s flood, Enoch had properly evaluated the world: “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’” (Jude 14-15). Truly “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Their corruption was complete and they were irretrievable!

Another proverb teaches this: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; How much more when he brings it with wicked intent! (Proverbs 21:27). God has followed this principle throughout Scripture, regardless of whether it involved His chosen people (Israelites) or aliens (Gentiles): “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18); “’To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?’ Says the LORD. ‘I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies-I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting’” (Isaiah 1:11-13); “Therefore hear, you nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people-The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words, Nor My law, but rejected it. 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 6:18-20); “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). God counts as vain, wasted, and completely useless, all sacrifices, worship, offerings, and assemblies by those who refuse to follow His rules.

It is little wonder, then, that God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30), because “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Now we should understand why Jesus Christ said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Mark 7:6-7).

If you want God to hear your prayers, accept your praises of Him, and regard your gifts, you must listen to what Jesus Christ said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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