Welcome to Proverbs 365! This blogging project is my attempt to read one chapter of Proverbs daily and then share a piece of wisdom or lesson learned from within that daily chapter. Proverbs are God’s version of daily Best Practices: they help us through good times and bad. When life becomes stressful, Proverbs are there to help us make better choices. Feel free to join me in Proverbs 365–either on your blog or by leaving your daily Proverbs lesson in the comments below!
8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
That’s from the NIV version. Listen to how the Message translates that same proverb:
8 God can’t stand pious poses,
but he delights in genuine prayers.
It doesn’t get any clearer than that, does it? This is what Israel did a lot of the time–having all of the form and none of the actual belief. Our culture does it too–they like to think they are spiritual, and treat God as if he is a once-in-a-while thing. As in, I can go and do what I want for 364 days of the year but if I think of God, or get mad when they say ‘Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” on the last day of the year, then I am a good person who has Godly properties.
Wrong. Dead wrong.
God isn’t interested so much in what we say or do in public. He is way more interested in the relationship we have with him. He isn’t interested in our prayers that hide who we are and what is really going on in our lives. He wants the real deal, the hard truth. Mess up? Tell him. Ask for help. Don’t hold back and give him the “pretty prayer.” He knows the mess you’re in anyway. He knows you’re mad, hurt, angry. He can handle the truth!
There are many, many, many people in this world who claim to be Christians. They use God’s name, make a big show of going to church, and a show of doing good works. Many of those are politicians using God’s name for personal power. But they don’t walk the walk–they only talk the talk. They totally missed the “Jesus is Lord” part. The part where Jesus says “Let me be in charge.” For those, for those who abuse God’s name for their own use, they can make all the sacrifices they want–God isn’t interested. He’d much rather have the genuine time of your prayers, the genuine relationship than big, showy sacrifices.
Any day of the week, any hour of the day. A heartfelt, honest prayer goes SO far!