S (Scripture): Psalm 50
“Listen, my people, I will now speak;
Israel, I will now testify against you.
I am God—your God!
I’m not punishing you for your sacrifices
or for your entirely burned offerings,
which are always before me.
I won’t accept bulls from your house
or goats from your corrals
because every forest animal already belongs to me,
as do the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every mountain bird;
even the insects in the fields are mine.
Even if I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you
because the whole world and everything in it already belong to me.
Do I eat bulls’ meat?
Do I drink goats’ blood?
Offer God a sacrifice of thanksgiving!
Fulfill the promises you made to the Most High!
Cry out to me whenever you are in trouble;
I will deliver you, then you will honor me.”
O (Observation): God reminds God’s people that their sacrifices are not what pleases God. Sacrifices exist as a way for people to show God respect and honor. Instead, in the era of this author, these sacrifices may have been seen as a contrite way to appease God…rather than become a way to honor God.
God owns all creation. So the sacrifices are NOT for God. If God wants a goat, God already has it. If God wants a bull, God already has it. The sacrifices are for God’s people to show deference to God, who reigns over all.
Trust in God. Lean on God in times of need. Ah…now we’re getting somewhere.
A (Application): The hands of many workers over a long period of time followed plans to build Notre Dame cathedral. No doubt, much was sacrificed to build such a beautiful, ornate house of worship. We are devastated to see fire consume much of the building and its contents.
What is it about a cathedral that gives honor to God? Does God need the cathedral? Well, the Temple (built in Solomon’s time) was something God had a big part in planning. Instructions were given and plans carried out.
God’s people have moved back and forth over time…wandering and static…house church and cathedral worship.
The point isn’t picking one way or the other. The point is this: when in times of trouble, lean on God for help.
For the community in Paris, France…lean on God this day. Trust in God. Seek a vision for what is to come.
P (Prayer): Lord, give us wisdom to lay our burdens down and cast all sorrow on you. Amen.