It is not rituals and traditions that bring God pleasure; he has no pleasure in these. What pleases Him is your obedience.
The central theme of the Bible is obedience to the word of God. It was made the central theme because it is the most important thing. Despite this, how often do we give greater credence to rituals and traditions such as praying before a meal, fasting or even going to church but ignore the requirement of obedience? In doing these things we do well, but what is the benefit of doing them if we fail to obey the word of God? None. It is simply Making the mistake of majoring in the minor.
The Children of Israel were guilty of majoring in the minor. They were consistent with practicing the rituals such as the burnt offering, sin offering, wave offering and other sacrifices. Nevertheless, they were far from what God required as it relates to obedience to His word. Some of the practices that they were guilty of were: shedding innocent blood, walking after other gods; facilitating injustice; oppressing the poor and needy; stealing and committing adultery. God was tired of these blatant disregard for His word, so he sent Jeremiah to speak to the people in Jeremiah 7. In verses 22 and 23 the real essence of God’s message was communicated that burnt offerings and sacrifice were not what He had consistently required of them but rather to obey His voice and make Him their God.
Since it is obedience that God wants, rather than going out of your way to carry out rituals and traditions, you are better served giving your self sacrificially to obey the word of God. At the end of the day, that is really what matters.
Life Application: Make obedience your top goal by holding yourself accountable to doing what His word says.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to focus on rituals and not on what truly matters. You have declared in your word that obedience is better than sacrifice and I want to honor your word at all times. In Jesus name, amen.