8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves him who follows righteousness.
There are several times in the Bible when the phrase, “abomination to the Lord” is used. An abomination is something that is more evil to God than regular sin. Things that were an abomination to God in the Law were usually punished by death. Something that was an abomination to God was an action to really be avoided. You might not be able to abstain from every sin, but you certainly should abstain from things that God called an abomination. (Do a search on the word ‘abomination’ in the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.)
That being said, Solomon used the word ‘abomination” here to describe the sacrifice of the wicked and the way of the wicked. This lesson should help us understand that when a wicked man or woman does something good in the name of philanthropy or in the name of religion, God is not impressed. When godless people make a big donation to a worthy cause, God does not take notice and give them a good mark in His record book. On the contrary, when a wicked man or woman makes a sacrifice for the good of another, even their motive is self-serving, and God adds this sin to their list of sins. Everything they do is about themselves, nothing they do is purely for the worship of God.
The contrary part of the wicked is the upright and the righteous. While the wicked make a great sacrifice, the righteous need only say a prayer to please the Lord. Our prayer of faith is more pleasing to God than the multi-million-dollar gift of the wicked. The simple cry of our heart to God gets His Divine attention and He is pleased that we came to Him. Yes, the kingdom of God on earth relies on the donations of others and yes, we should be giving of our resources to further God’s kingdom. What we learn here is that God is first pleased with our simplest prayers. When we give, it is not for self-praise but for God’s glory. We sacrifice to God on every level of our lives and we do so out of love, not obligation, out of selfless worship not with any desire for personal exaltation, and God is pleased. (Can you think of people in the life of Christ who worshiped Him and He was pleased?)
Once again, if you are able to join us at 11:45 today for prayer, please do. We read the Scriptures together and praise God with His words. Then we look at our own needs and the needs others from the Scriptures and pray more.
Remember to pray for our teenage young people who face awful temptations every day. From song lyrics to the content of TV and movies our teens are faced with the filth of this world all the time. Pray that they will have the discernment to know good and evil as well as the courage to stand up to it and resist it. I am working with a young man here who needs our prayers to commit to his parent’s wisdom and guidance. I am sure he is one of thousands or more in Christian homes who needs our prayers and loving guidance.
Be in prayer for Sunday throughout today and tomorrow. May God be highly exalted.
Have a great day in the Lord,