A Wise Proverb
“The sacrifice of the wicked ones is something detestable to Jehovah, but the prayer of the upright ones is a pleasure to him.”—Prov. 15:8.
These words were written at a time when the worship of Jehovah was centered at a temple in Jerusalem, where animal sacrifices were offered. An Israelite could spend a considerable amount of money to buy a bull or a lamb for sacrifice. This proverb reveals, however, that God preferred a sincere prayer that costs nothing from an upright person, rather than an animal sacrifice from a wicked person. So God’s criterion is not the expense an individual goes to in practicing religion, but his heart condition and general life pattern. The verse that follows says: “The way of the wicked one is something detestable to Jehovah, but the one pursuing righteousness he loves.”—Prov. 15:9.