Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 21:27
"The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, how much more when he brings it with evil intent"
This is the Hebrew word zebach which means sacrifice in most cases. The idea here is that the wicked person has brought a sacrifice to the tabernacle or temple. It is probably a praise offering because there is not a hint of a burnt offering which would require repentance.
If a wicked person who has lived outside of God's law wanted to repent and receive forgiveness from God by confession and bringing a burnt offering for sin, then God would accept this offering. This offering which Solomon calls an abomination is a show. It is designed to impress people, not God.
God sees this offering as an abomination. He is not impressed. The wicked person isn't trying to get right with God; he is trying to be accepted by society. This is the perverted actor making a large donation to a church. This is the abortion doctor who donates a large sum to a charity. Too often in our culture we see the size of the check and applaud the person for their donation. But if they made the money through vice, corruption, harming others, or lowering morality, then their excess money is plagued. It should matter how they made their money and not just that they are giving it away.
Don't be impressed by the size of the check; be impressed by the heart and the soul of the person. Are they right with God and the other relationships in their life? Or do they just have a lot of money because they have been willing to bend the rules that all the rest of the people play by?
This is the word which means that a person is living outside of the Ten Commandments behavior. They no longer respect these lines. There is no attempt to come back inside of moral behavior.
This is the Hebrew word toebah which means abomination, detestable, loathsome. This word never appears in the normal tense; it is always in an intensified form. It carries a strong reaction in the word. The idea is that what is abominable is reprehensible and ethically disgusting. In this case it is that a person who is living outside the boundaries that are necessary for a society to sustain itself brings a sacrifice to the temple. This is abominable in that there is no suggestion that they are repenting or desiring to come within the boundaries of ethical conduct. They just want to look religious or somehow be accepted even while they pursue the wicked ends. This is the mafia don going to church.
The idea is that the motive is wrong for this sacrifice. The intent is to make the wicked look good. The person who lives outside of the boundaries of the Ten Commandments still wants to look good to those who try and live within those boundaries. Pride, self-focus, self-righteousness is so bad that God calls it here: evil intent.
It would be interesting to actually see what God sees when people go to church. How many people go to church to worship God and how many people go to church to be noticed by others?
One would think that the person who makes their life outside of the moral boundaries of God wouldn’t care at all about God’s boundaries. But there is something inside of everyone – even those who have thrown off the yoke of living morally – that wants to respect those boundaries or make up for their breaking of them: This is why the person who makes their living by stealing and extortion gives to charity. This is why the person who is constantly committing adultery gets married.
God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. If you live outside of God’s moral boundaries, you need to repent and move back inside. It doesn’t matter how much money you donate to church or how many weekends you go to church. If your life says, “I am in rebellion to God’s rules,” then you will be riding the picket fence of life.
This is the Hebrew word zimmah which means a plan, device, strategy, immorality. The idea here is that Solomon is showing why a person who is clearly wicked would go through the show of making sacrifices, giving to God, going to church. It is all a part of a scheme, a strategy, a device to get something they want. It is an abomination to God. When you go to church, be real. Go for God or don’t go. Don’t let this be you. God still forgives. God still welcomes sinners who are honest with themselves and with others.