“Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel: I am God, your God. 8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
In this psalm, the writer focuses on the offerings that are pleasing to God. It wasn't as if the people had not brought the animals for sacrifices required by God's law. But it was the way they were sacrificing the bulls and goats that offended God. As the psalmist says, after all it is not as if God needed any animals for his own pleasure. And in a classic line,
"for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine."
Here is what was wrong with their sacrifices ...
"The sacrifices under the Jewish law were of God’s appointment; but now that the people began to put their trust in them, God despised them.” (Clarke)
“What he intended for their instruction, they made their confidence.” (Spurgeon)
What is the bottom line? God wants are our hearts more than anything. Worshipping God is putting our trust in Him, because He has given us everything we need. God promises that when we call on him in the time of trouble, he will deliver us.
Where have your spiritual disciplines designed to bring you closer to God become dull or lacking your passion? Where are you going through the motions? God doesn't need our worship attendance, giving or prayers? These are the means for us to express our need for Him and trust in His promises that He has made to us which are ultimately all fulfilled in His Son, Jesus Christ.