What Does God Want? (The Question)

Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the most high God?  shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old?  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?  shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Micah 6:6-7

These are questions that men from all ages have asked.  They are questions that people ask today, whether they think about them or not.  The age old question is this: what does God want from us and what does He expect from us.  “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God?”  is the way the verse starts.  How do we approach God?  That is a question that many religions around the world ask and try to answer.  Some say that we approach God by being a good person (or bringing our own good works and our own righteousness).  Some say that we approach God by doing all of the things that leader of the religion tells us to do.  Some say that find God within ourselves and that getting closer to God is actually just a journey of self-realization.  Some say that we approach God by denying ourselves things, some even going so far as to advocate self-beatings and things of that nature.

The writer of this book offers a few possibilities: maybe burnt offerings.  God did command the Israelites to have sacrifices of burnt offerings.  But then it goes on to ask if the Lord would really be pleased even with “thousands of rams.”  Would a bunch of cattle really please the Lord? Not really.  Would rivers of anointing oil satisfy God?  Of course not.  God owns all of the cattle already and He created the oil.  He doesn’t need things like that.  The second verse goes so far as to ask if He would like a sacrifice of our firstborn.  Sadly, many cultures throughout history have tried to get to God in this way.  But God doesn’t want those outward shows of devotion.  He wants our hearts, and our obedience, as we will see in the next verses.

4 responses to this post.

  1. “He wants our hearts and our obedience”. Indeed He does Ben and this is often the clincher. While to obey is better than to sacrifice obedience can sometimes be more painful because in order to do it we must crucify the flesh…our flesh. the old saying goes “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission;” But I’m with you I think Christ would rather have us ask permission! Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

    Reply

    • Crucifying the flesh is always a tough one, no matter how good of a Christian we may be. I think that is why any religion that demands some simple “penance” for sin instead of obedience in the first place will always be popular with man.

      Reply

  2. There is something really striking about this post, Ben. Just the way you discuss and show how we go through life and wonder and try these things
    I have asked Him what He expected of me before, knowing that I wasn’t able to live up to other people’s expectations of me. He told me just that . . .He expected me to have a right heart attitude.
    God bless you Ben, as you keep leading us on to Him!

    Reply

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