An Unblemished Sacrifice (Deut 17:1)

Deuteronomy 17:1

You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God.

When the people of God were called by him to make offerings, they were not allowed by God to give him their leftovers. Shepherds were not to comb their flocks to find the weakest, ugliest, least worthwhile lambs—the ones they felt they could spare—in order to make their offerings. They were called to give God their absolute best. They were called by God to give offerings that rightly reflected his glory. Of course, not even the most perfect-looking lamb was a sufficient sacrifice to match the glory of our God, but it was crucial that the people not think that they could offer God their castaways.

In our own lives, it is often tempting to give God what time, money, or focus we can spare. We tend to relegate our time with God to whatever our busy schedules will permit. We relegate our worship of God to whatever we can squeeze into our busy days. This is a practice that does not honor him, but is, as he declares, an abomination.

It is time, in the lives of all who read this text, that we offer God our best. We must give to him, not a sacrifice of lambs, but the true sacrifice of our own lives. We do not squeeze God into our schedules, we order our lives around him and his glory. Let us learn to give God the time that he demands long before we think of getting the less important things done. Let us learn to give freely to our God the very best we have to offer. Let us learn to live with our lives centered on him and his kingdom, and let him take care of the remaining needs we have. This does not excuse us from being responsible people in daily life, but it does reorder our priorities so that we will offer God lives that are not the blemished sacrifices that the falsely pious think they can spare.

Dear Lord, I confess to you that it is often far too easy for me to offer to you what I feel that I can spare. This is not something that brings honor to your name. I pray that you will forgive me of this grievous sin, and reorder my steps. I desire to give you my very best. I recognize that this offering is still ugly and blemished in the light of your perfect holiness; but I have nothing else to offer. I pray that you, through the blood of Christ, will see my life as an acceptable sacrifice of praise to your great name.

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