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Proverbs 21:27 & meaning...


sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination: how much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind!

Proverbs 21:27


Proverbs 21 [25.] The desire of the sluggard kills him,

    for his hands refuse to labor.

There are those who covet greedily all day long;

    but the righteous give and don’t withhold.

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination:

    how much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind!

A false witness will perish,

    and a man who listens speaks to eternity.

A wicked man hardens his face;

    but as for the upright, he establishes his ways.


  • Worship vs. Righteous Living:

This verse contrasts two forms of religious expression: sacrifice and prayer. Sacrifice was a central aspect of worship in ancient Israel, but the proverb highlights that the outward act of sacrifice is meaningless if it is offered by the wicked. In contrast, prayer, which represents communication and communion with God, is pleasing to Him when it comes from the upright, those who live according to His ways.

  • Heart Condition:

The key difference between the sacrifice of the wicked and the prayer of the upright lies in the condition of the heart. The wicked may go through the motions of offering sacrifices, but their hearts are far from God, marked by disobedience and unrighteousness. In contrast, the upright demonstrate their devotion to God through their commitment to righteous living, which is reflected in their prayers.

  • God's Response:

The verse emphasizes God's response to these two forms of worship. While the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Him, the prayer of the upright brings Him delight. This highlights the importance of sincerity and authenticity in worship. God values genuine relationship and communication over ritualistic observance devoid of inner transformation.

Cross-referencing with other passages in Scripture, we find similar teachings on the importance of righteousness and sincerity in worship. In Isaiah 1:11-17, God rebukes the Israelites for their empty sacrifices and calls them to pursue justice and righteousness instead. Similarly, in Psalm 51:16-17, David declares that God desires a broken spirit and a contrite heart more than sacrifices.

As we reflect on Proverbs 21:27, we are reminded of the importance of integrity and authenticity in our relationship with God. It challenges us to examine our motives and intentions in worship, ensuring that our actions are aligned with righteous living and heartfelt devotion to God. It also encourages us to prioritize communication with God through prayer, recognizing that our communion with Him is a source of delight for Him.

In our personal lives, Proverbs 21:27 invites us to cultivate a lifestyle of righteousness and sincerity in our worship. It prompts us to evaluate the condition of our hearts and to seek genuine connection with God through prayer and obedience. Ultimately, it reminds us that true worship is not about external rituals but about the inward posture of our hearts.

See also: vs 26

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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