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Remember What Jehovah Loves
Proverbs 15:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable to Jehovah,
but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable to Jehovah. The Hebrew word (זֶבַח zebach) rendered sacrifice in the good sense is the act of killing an animal in the act of worship or atonement regarding God. However, here it refers to the sacrifice in worship, which is likely no sacrifice at all because the animal is lame or of no real value. Or it is because their worship is perfunctory (obligatory, superficial) because they have no intention of abandoning their wicked lifestyle.
But the prayer of the upright is his delight. The prayer of the upright (יָשָׁר yashar) refers to a person’s behavior that is in harmony with God’s principles or standards, the sense of honesty and integrity in relations as contrasted with the violent and devious man. The upright are God’s true believers, his holy ones, who diligently seek and search to know love, obey God and live righteously as they can within their human imperfections. (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 5:12) This is the first time prayer is occurs in the book of Proverbs. So, we see that prayer and sacrifices are both a part of pure worship. This prayer was the seeking of God’s blessing the petitioners efforts to draw closer to God through their sacrifices. The Hebrew word (רָצוֹן ratson or רָצֹן ratson) rendered delight refers to the prayer of the upright one and that it brings happiness to God.
This Proverb was written in a time when the worship of Jehovah was taking place in the temple in Jerusalem, and many thousands of animals were sacrificed. An upright Israelite might spend much to get the perfect bull or lamb to sacrifice. However, what this proverb makes clear that the petitioner’s heartfelt prayers that cost no money were preferred over the animal sacrifice of the wicked person. Thus, God is not looking at the expenses that one gives in their worship of Him, but instead, his pure heart and life that he leads in walking with God. God also looks at our coming to Him in heartfelt prayer and with a clean conscience.
 Keil and Delitzsch write, Although the same is true of the prayer of the godless that is here said of their sacrifice, and of the sacrifice of the righteous that is here said of their prayer (vid., 28:9, and cf. Ps. 4:6 with Ps. 27:6), yet it is not by accident that here (line first = 21:27) the sacrifice is ascribed to the godless and the prayer to the upright. The sacrifice, as a material and legally-required performance, is much more related to dead works than prayer freely completing itself in the word, the most direct expression of the personality, which, although not commanded by the law, because natural to men, as such is yet the soul of all sacrifices; and the Chokma, like the Psalms and Prophets, in view of the ceremonial service which had become formal and dead in the opus operatum, is to such a degree penetrated by the knowledge of the incongruity of the offering up of animals and of plants, with the object in view, that a proverb like “the sacrifice of the righteous is pleasing to God” never anywhere occurs. – Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 6 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), 231.