By Jena Kleinpeter
Ps 40:6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
This seem like an odd scripture but it has a deep meaning. David was grappling with waiting for answers from God even though many blessings had been given. He is still trying to understand the mind of God. The ritual of animal sacrifices was common, but David is concerned with the deeper meaning of those sacrifices.
He understood that the priests were happy when someone brought animals to sacrifice at the temple for a sin offering, because it meant they would have a big meal that day. However, David knew that Samuel told Saul “obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam 15:22). Some Christians were making the ritual sacrifices out of habit but without understanding the true meaning behind them. David felt they were meaningless without the right reasons.
Christians today have habits of going to church, tithing, or taking communion, but why are we doing them. Is it from being raised in a certain religion and were told if we follow this or that ritual we will go to heaven? Perhaps for selfish reasons of being seen as a good person? God doesn’t want these things out of habit but out of a true devotion to him. One of the most important “sacrifices” as a Christian is making sure we have a habit of giving God the obedience and lifelong service he deserves from us.