"THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE."
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY SACRIFICE?
A. It is giving something that is valuable to me for someone else.
1. I may sacrifice some of my time to come over to help you.
2. I may sacrifice my seat so that someone else might sit down.
B. In a biblical sense, it is thought as giving an offering to God.
1. There were many laws concerning the giving of sacrifices to God.
2. There were the sin offerings. They were sacrifices that were intended to make a covering for my sins.
3. The burnt offerings. They were sacrifices that indicated my desire to fully consecrate myself to God.
4. The peace offerings. These were intended to bring me into close fellowship with God.
C. The sacrifices could be an animal or a dove, or there were meal offerings, which consisted of fine flour mixed with oil and placed in the fire to bake.
1. This was a sweet savour sacrifice unto God.
a. What smells better than bread baking?
b. The fat of the animal that was sacrificed was also placed on the altar as a sweet savour to God.
D. There are things that God considers more important than sacrifices.
1. King Saul was commanded by God to utterly destroy the Amalakites and all of their animals. He was to leave nothing alive.
a. Saul disobeyed God and brought back some of the finer animals.
b. When the prophet Samuel asked him why he did not fully obey the commandment of God, he replied that he had brought back the better animals to sacrifice them to God.
c. The prophet answered him, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."
2. Through the prophet Hosea God said, For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
3. Solomon said, "To do justice and judgment [is] more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice."
4. David said to God,
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give [it]: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
5. God spoke of His weariness with their sacrifices,
To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them].
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept [them]: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
6. Jesus said, "To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love [his] neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
E. What then are the things that God considers more important than the sacrifice of an animal?
2. That we have mercy and the knowledge of God.
3. To do justice and judgment.
4. A broken spirit and a contrite heart.
5. To love God with all your heart and understanding and soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself.
II. THERE IS A SENSE OF FULFILLMENT WHEN WE OFFER A SACRIFICE TO GOD.
A. To the Jew who brought his sacrifice, there was a great sense of having done something worthwhile that perhaps helped to atone for his sin.
B. The book of Hebrews was written to the Jews who had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, yet there was a pull of tradition that caused them to think about going back to the priest with a sacrifice.
1. The writer is saying to them, if you want to sacrifice to God, offer Him the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of your lips.
2. The praise offerings were acceptable to God in the Old Testament.
a. David said,
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.
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
[This] also shall please the LORD better than an ox [or] bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
b. God said,
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth [his] conversation [aright] will I shew the salvation of God.
c. Through the prophet Jeremiah God said,
Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say [shall be] desolate without man and without beast, [even] in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,
The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD [is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: [and] of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
III. THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE.
A. The fact that it is called the sacrifice of praise may indicate that you may not feel like praising Him.
1. Praise is often spontaneous. God has just done some marvelous thing for us, and the praise rises spontaneously from our hearts.
2. Sometimes our circumstances are not conducive to praise. This is when praise is a sacrifice.
3. Praise at this point is an exercise of faith.
a. I can praise Him for I know that all things work together for God to those who love God and are the called according to His purposes.
b. We are told to give thanks in everything for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us.
B. Surely the scriptures call on us to praise the Lord.
1. The psalmist wrote,
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and [for] his wonderful works to the children of men!
O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
O Praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD [endureth] for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord.
Praise the LORD; for the LORD [is] good: sing praises unto his name; for [it is] pleasant.
Praise ye the LORD: for [it is] good to sing praises unto our God; for [it is] pleasant; [and] praise is beautiful.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
C. How often do you just stop and praise the Lord for His goodness, and His mercy?
IV. THERE ARE OTHER SACRIFICES THAT WE CAN OFFER TO GOD. VERSE 14: "BUT TO DO GOOD AND TO COMMUNICATE, THAT IS TO GIVE TO THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED, FORGET NOT, FOR WITH SUCH SACRIFICES GOD IS WELL PLEASED."
A. The Lord wants us to be considerate toward the poor.
1. Under the law God commanded,
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
2. When Job was going through his heavy trials, his friends suggested that his problems stemmed from his not helping the poor. Job in response said,
I [was] a father to the poor: and the cause [which] I knew not I searched out.
Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was [not] my soul grieved for the poor?
3. There are many proverbs concerning the poor.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
B. Lord help me live from day to day, In such a self forgetting way, That even when I kneel to pray, My prayer shall be for others. Help me in all the things I do, To ever be sincerely true, And know that all I do for you, Must needs be done for others. Others Lord, yes others, Let this my motto be, Help me to live for others, That I may live for Thee.
C. Jesus said, "In as much as you have done it unto the least of My brothers, you have done it unto Me."