“A Study in Sacrifices” (Ready to Worship S5E4)

Ready to Worship Season 5, Episode 4 for Friday, February 17, 2017

Jesus informed the Samaritan woman that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Although there are some key differences between worship in the Old Testament and worship today, there is one key thing that they have in common. Under both testaments, men are to worship in spirit and in truth. Recently, in reading through the book of Psalms I was impressed with the different sacrifices that David called for in worship – righteousness, joy, thanksgiving, and humility. Some of these sacrifices are tied to worshipping in truth and others are tied to worshipping in spirit.

Transcript

Jesus informed the Samaritan woman that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). We often point out that worshipping in spirit and in truth means worshipping with the right acts and with the right attitude. 

Although there are some key differences between worship in the Old Testament and worship today, there is one key thing that they have in common. Under both testaments, men are to worship in spirit and in truth. Recently, in reading through the book of Psalms I was impressed with the different sacrifices that David called for in worship – righteousness, joy, thanksgiving, and humility. Some of these sacrifices are tied to worshipping in truth and others are tied to worshipping in spirit. 

First, consider the sacrifices that are tied to worshipping in truth. Two times in the Psalms, David spoke of the sacrifices of righteousness.  We read:

Psalms 4:5 – “Offer the sacrifices of righteousnessand put your trust in the Lord.”

Psalms 51:19 – “Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousnesswith burnt offering and whole burnt offering:  then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”

Sacrifices of righteousness are tied to worshipping in truth. The psalmist understood this. He referred to God’s word as righteousness (Psa. 119:172). Thus, offering the sacrifices of righteousness is offering that which God has commanded in his word. They were not free to substitute what they wanted. They could not offer a bloodless sacrifice when God wanted a bloody one. This was evidently the error of Cain (Heb. 11:4).  The could not offer a spotted lamb when God called for an unspotted one. They couldn’t offer a lamb lame for a whole one.  That is evidently what those of Malachi’s day were doing (Mal. 1).  They couldn’t offer a skinny sheep for a fat one. The psalmist specifically referenced this.  He wrote,  “I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlingswith the incense of rams;  I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah” (Psa. 65:15). The  same principle holds true for us. We can’t make substitutions. We can’t offer a mechanical instrument when God calls for singing and making g melody in our hearts (Eph. 5:19). 

Second, consider the sacrifices that are tied to worshipping in spirit. At least three of the sacrifices the psalmist mentioned fall into this category. Please consider them with me: 

Psalms 27:6 – And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Psalms 51:17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Psalms 107:22 – “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgivingand declare his works with rejoicing.” 

Sacrifices of joy, thanksgiving, and sacrifices of a broken spirit have to do with worshipping in spirit. God looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). He didn’t just want an unspotted lamb. He wanted that lamb offered from a willing heart. If the man offering considered it a weariness or burden, God didn’t want it. This was a part of what was wrong with the sacrifices offered by those in Malachi’s day (Mal. 1:10-14). Today, what we offer must come from a willing mind and a cheerful heart (2 Cor. 8:3, 11-12; 9:7). 

As we get ready to worship this week, let’s make sure that we offer the sacrifices that God has commanded. Let’s make sure that our worship is in spirit and in truth. 

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