Can We Please God?
God is not a capricious tyrant. His commands are good, He provides a sacrifice for our sins. And He is pleased with us when we believe Him.
And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Leviticus 1:8a
Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. Matthew 24:46-47
What God commands pleases Him, but it is also beneficial to those who obey Him. God does not ask His people to do things which are detrimental to themselves. Obeying God is a “win-win” proposition.
Furthermore, it is not hard to know what pleases God. His Word reveals what He wants us to do. We need not attempt to guess what pleases Him. It is clear. Read the Bible.
First, to please Him, we need an offering for our sin. In Leviticus the Israelites were told what their priests needed to do to present a pleasing aroma to God. There were various kinds of offerings: guilt, grain, peace, etc. There is a phrase which is repeated here: “a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” Leviticus can come alive to us if we realize that our sin deeply offends the holy God who made us. Our sin is complex in that it permeates our best actions and our whole beings. Our actions are sinful. Our minds are sinful. Our motives are sinful. We commit both sins of omission and commission, that is, we do not do what we ought and we do what we ought not to do. We desperately need an offering for all this sin.
Leviticus shows us that we need an offering and sets the stage for the coming our Lord Jesus Christ, the only sufficient offering for sin.
Secondly, Leviticus tells us that a proper offering for sin averts the just wrath of God. Furthermore, that proper offering pleases God. In our Matthew reading Jesus teaches that, just as the master was pleased with his servant, we too can please our Master by doing what He commands. Obedience begins with faith in the One who offered Himself for the sin of His people (Matthew 1:21).
Think about it
As you read Leviticus, don’t miss the point that Christ is the One who fulfills all these necessary offerings. Seek to do what He commands for He promised to return for us. May He find us doing what He has commanded! May we be blessed on that day because we believed Him and sought to obey Him! There will be rewards for this. Can we please God? Yes, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ we please Him.