God has done wonderful works for us that are beyond number. As humans, we cannot remember all that he has done and understandably, there have been many occasions when God was working in our lives and we did not recognize him or his handy work. Because God has done these many works for us, what does he expect from us?
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (Psalms 40:6)
According to this passage, it isn’t sacrifice and offering. Wait! Why not? Didn’t God institute both of them? Didn’t he inspire an entire book of the bible on the various types of offerings and how to prepare and offer them? If so, then why isn’t that what he wants?
Sacrifice and offerings may be what we need, but they aren’t what God wants. Sacrifice and offerings are external actions that can be performed by anyone, but God is more concerned about what is on the inside. Just as he chose a king for Israel based on what was within man, God is also concerned about what is within us.
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:8)
God wants a heart condition. He wants us to be willing to do his will and to carry his law in our hearts. If we focus on the outside, we become no different than the Pharisees. As Jesus said, we do nothing more than clean the outside of the cup. If we focus on the inside, the heart becomes yielded and sensitive to God. Once the inside is right, the outside will take care of itself.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:23-24)