SermonSacrificial Scapegoating
An all-creatures Bible Message

Sacrificial Scapegoating
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
11 August 2019
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 50:1-23
Isaiah 1:1-20

Sacrificial scapegoating is not accepting our own responsibility to live a repentant and righteous life before God and the world around us, but instead attempting to pass our own guilt off on to another living being.
Some people who cannot or will not face their own responsibility and repent for what they have done wrong blame someone else who is innocent and this is scapegoating.
The entire Biblical sacrificial system is really institutionalized scapegoating, because it was set up by the priests to have the people pass their own guilt on to an innocent animal as a way of taking away the people’s responsibility before God (and the priests made money from such actions); this is sacrificial scapegoating, which does not fool God, because He sees the intent of the heart and soul of everyone.
This could also be part of the reason the Jesus call the religious leaders hypocrites.
With these things in mind, let’s look at Psalm 50:1-23, and see how we can see sacrificial scapegoating in its message.

1. The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken,
And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2.  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God has shone forth.

We should know that the earthly Zion has never been perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, so this must refer to a heavenly Zion, one that we should strive to have here on earth as it is in heaven.

3. May our God come and not keep silence;
Fire devours before Him,
And it is very tempestuous around Him.

Then in this verse, the psalmist returns to the way the earth is, for it is a turbulent and stormy world that is full of violence, and it is far from being the perfection of God that He created it to be.
And, this also points out our societal lack of living in the heavenly will of God, and bringing it to earth as it is in heaven, which also should show us how really far we are from having the Zion the psalmist wrote about in verse 2.
So what does God do?

4. He summons the heavens above,
And the earth, to judge His people:
5. "Gather My godly ones to Me,
Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."

The psalmist knew that God always saw the Godly ones in the midst of this corrupt world, just as He does today.
And I hope that we all recognize that the covenant that God wants is not sacrificial scapegoating in which some people try to push off their own guilt upon an innocent animal and kill him before God, as if that is what God desires.
The only one who wants the shedding of blood is the devil.

6. And the heavens declare His righteousness,
For God Himself is judge.

Let’s pause and think about this: if the heavens declare the righteousness of God, then we who consider ourselves to be true believers in God should recognize that righteousness and truly seek to be like Him.
If we don’t, as the psalmist writes, we will be judged by our righteous God.

7. "Hear, O My people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you;
I am God, your God.

If what we are discussing is not true, then why would God testify against the vast majority of the people of this corrupt world?
The simple answer is that if we were living in His heavenly will here on earth as a witness before others, He wouldn’t testify against us; He would receive us into heaven.

8. "I do not reprove you for your sacrifices,
And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.

As we shall see, we don’t believe that God is not reprimanding the people so much for their sacrificial scapegoating because that was the way of the times, but because the people were truly repenting before God and seeking to return to living in His heavenly will.
Furthermore, today for the most part, we no longer have sacrificial scapegoating in our houses of worship, and the Lord forgives us and accepts our truly repentant spirit if we really are seeking to living in His heavenly will.
Then the psalmist goes on for the Lord…

9. "I shall take no young bull out of your house,
Nor male goats out of your folds.

The Lord does not want human beings to sacrifice any living being to Him.

10. "For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
11. "I know every bird of the mountains,
And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
12. "If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all it contains.

The Lord is telling us through the psalmist that if He wanted any animals to be killed, He could do it Himself.
God wants obedience and not sacrifice.

13. "Shall I eat the flesh of bulls,
Or drink the blood of male goats?

And the answer is NO!
Then the Lord tells us what He wants…

14. "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
And pay your vows to the Most High;

We are to be truly thankful for everything we have and not complain about it if we think we should have more, because such complaining is an indication of not being truly thankful.
Thankfulness is not just about material things, it is about our relationship with the Lord as well, and the forgiveness and grace He has given us.

15. And call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."

We always wonder why this kind of salvation doesn’t seem to be happening for animals, particularly for those who are victims of sacrificial scapegoating, and those who are sacrificed to the demon of human gluttony.

16. But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes,
And to take My covenant in your mouth?
17. "For you hate discipline,
And you cast My words behind you.

There are a lot of people in our houses of worship who say that they believe and follow God’s heavenly will, but their lifestyle actually reflects the opposite, and we believe that these are the people that the psalmist is writing about.

18. "When you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
And you associate with adulterers.
19. "You let your mouth loose in evil,
And your tongue frames deceit.
20. "You sit and speak against your brother;
You slander your own mother's son.

These are the kinds of people we are talking about, and these are the same kinds of people who were responsible for all the sacrificial scapegoating over the years.

21. "These things you have done, and I kept silence;
You thought that I was just like you;
I will reprove you, and state the case in order before your eyes.

God cannot be fooled for He sees the intent of our heart and soul, and He will withhold His anger until the time of those people’s judgement.

22. "Now consider this, you who forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
23. "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."

These kinds of sacrifices are without any living being’s death; these are sacrifices of one’s self, and God will save such people.
If you are not totally convinced about what we have been talking about, hopefully Isaiah 1:1-20 will convince you…

1. The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2. Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth;
For the LORD speaks, "Sons I have reared and brought up,
But they have revolted against Me.

This is plainly telling us that the people have turned their backs to both God and His heavenly will.

3. "An ox knows its owner,
And a donkey its master's manger,
But Israel does not know,
My people do not understand."

God is saying through Isaiah that even the animals knew better than the people for they obeyed Him unlike the people who rebelled against Him.

4. Alas, sinful nation,
People weighed down with iniquity,
Offspring of evildoers,
Sons who act corruptly!
They have abandoned the LORD,
They have despised the Holy One of Israel,
They have turned away from Him.
5. Where will you be stricken again,
As you continue in your rebellion?
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart is faint.

God was allowing their own iniquity to come back upon their heads, because they were following the corrupt and evil ways of this world and not doing what the Lord wanted them to do.

6. From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it,
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil.

And God was saying that every part of their body, which was controlled by their mind was evil, which was the reason that they were having all the troubles that surrounded them.

7. Your land is desolate,
Your cities are burned with fire,
Your fields —  strangers are devouring them in your presence;
It is desolation, as overthrown by strangers.
8. And the daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman's hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.

Then we get a look at God’s grace and mercy.

9. Unless the LORD of hosts
Had left us a few survivors,
We would be like Sodom,
We would be like Gomorrah.

But at the same time, the Lord’s anger toward the people boiled up, and He said,

10. Hear the word of the LORD,
You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the instruction of our God,
You people of Gomorrah.

To me, this is a heavenly way of swearing at the disobedient people, for He is comparing them to the evil people of the cities He destroyed.
One of the main things that the Lord was angry about was their sacrificial scapegoating, for they were not taking responsibility for their own actions; they were just trying to pass them off upon some innocent animals.

11. "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?"
Says the LORD.
"I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams,
And the fat of fed cattle.
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats.

The Lord was angry about every aspect of their sacrificial scapegoating, for they were just going through the motions without any repentance on their part.

12. "When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?

God didn’t even want these people in the Temple, for they were unworthy of being there; their allegiance was to the world and not to God.

13. "Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me.
New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies-
I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.

In other words these people had one foot in the world and the other in the Temple, and God would not accept that, no matter how holy they may have pretended to be.
And this kind of iniquity continues to be present in our houses of worship to this very day.
So God says,

14. "I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts,
They have become a burden to Me.
I am weary of bearing them.

In other words, all of their sacrificial scapegoating is not what God ever wanted and they have become a burden to the Lord.
He is tired of their hypocrisy.

15. "So when you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you,
Yes, even though you multiply prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood.

God is not listening to those killers, and we believe it also includes those who support the killing, such as the people who eat animal products.
Even so, in all His grace and mercy, the Lord tells the people what they need to do to redeem themselves…

16. "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
17. Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless;
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.

We hope we all see that these things are all the kinds of things that peacemaking children of God do; for there is no place for any human-inflicted pain, suffering, or death, which also means that there is no place for their sacrificial scapegoating.

18. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD,
"Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
19. "If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;

In other words, those who truly repent and seek to live in the heavenly will of God will be saved.

20. "But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword."
Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

And the reverse is also true; those who insist on living in the corrupt and evil ways of this world will die in their sins, and we should not be like them.
We need to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will and do everything in their power to free creation from its present corruption.
There is no room for people to sit back and do nothing to help make things better; this is a job for every one of us.
And I pray that we all take an active part.

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