Love of God and love of neighbor is worth more than burnt sacrifices.
The Jewish people offered these sacrifices to show their commitment to God.
But, when the sacrifices became what it was all about rather than signifying something within their hearts, then they were missing the point.
God wants our hearts. He wants us…all of us. Wholly and completely. There are no material offerings that we can make to compensate for an unwillingness to offer ourselves. Our willingness to offer material offerings show the extent to which we are willing to offer ourselves.
In Scripture, this point is made several times:
– Sacrifice and offering you do not want; you opened my ears. Holocaust and sin-offering you do not request; (Psalm 40:7)
– For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept. (Psalm 51:18)
– For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)
– For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in. (Hebrews 10:5-6)
What is in our hearts? Do we love God with everything we have? More than anything else? Or, do we attend to God after our other concerns have been met?