Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 22, 2014

“I desire compassion, and not sacrifice” – “To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.”

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 10:16-20.

“But Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it had been burned up!  So he was angry with Aaron’s surviving sons Eleazar and Ithamar, saying, “Why did you not eat the sin offering at the holy place?  For it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord.  Behold, since its blood had not been brought inside, into the sanctuary, you should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, just as I commanded.”  But Aaron spoke to Moses, “Behold, this very day they presented their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord.  When things like these happened to me, if I had eaten a sin offering today, would it have been good in the sight of the Lord?”  When Moses heard that, it seemed good in his sight.”  Leviticus 10:16-20.


It may have been that Aaron and his sons did not eat the sin offering that day, because they did not feel that it was right to exercise their privilege to do so considering that their relatives (Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron) had been shockingly consumed by fire from the LORD that very day for offering strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.

And, it may have been that when Moses heard the explanation of Aaron of such restraint from exercising their privilege, it also seemed to him the right thing to do.

But, in any event, we do know the following Biblical principles.

“To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.”  Proverbs 21:3.

“But go and learn what this means:  ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:13.

So, there is a lesson for us today.  Are we motivated more by liturgy than by love?  Do we care more about how self-righteous we appear to fellow church members than how much we righteously, justly, and compassionately serve others?


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