Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
It should be carefully observed that the whole thrust of Jeremiah 7 is to the effect that for sacrificial worship to be acceptable to God, worshipers must come to the altar with yielded and believing hearts, with a sincere purpose to do God’s will. Verses 22-23 point out that in the very book that records God’s deliverance of the enslaved Hebrew people from Egyptian bondage, the first essential was a heartfelt commitment to a covenant relationship to God. They were to understand themselves as a holy people, called out to a new life of total obedience to the known will of God. Apart from that surrender of heart, that pledge of their soul to live to the glory of God, no acts of ritual or formalized worship could avail to please God.
In point of fact, then, God never said anything to them at the beginning—”in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt”—about offerings or sacrifices. What He did emphasize to them was the commitment of their hearts to Him with a full purpose to obey His will. Without that purpose, acts of religion mean nothing but abominable hypocrisy. Isaiah 1:11-17 and Amos 5:21-26 teach that same principle.
Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publications, 1982), pp. 272-73.