The true spirit of religion is love of God and neighbor. Sacrifice performed for that purpose, as with the widow’s offering in Matt 12, or more dramatically with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, avails much. Sacrifice done in order to impress God with our holiness avails nothing.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Ps 51:16-17
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. Matt 12:7
**To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." **Mark 12:33
Sacrifice IS necessary to live the Christian life,
consider the spiritual exercises of prayer, fasting
and alms-giving that Jesus told His disciples to do
in the Sermon on the Mount, 2/3 of them is sacrifice!
What Micah is complaining about is that it has become
more like a pretense of drawing near God instead of
really putting your heart and soul into it or even being
GRATEFUL that they have so great a God to worship,
am I making any sense?
Worship and sacrifice are inextricably linked, in both the Old Testament as well as the New.
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
12 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Spiritual worship was a new concept on the face of the earth. Our Lord told the Samaritan woman at the well that those who followed Him worship “in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24). At mass, we sacrifice the bread and wine which become Body and Blood. As well, we sacrifice our very selves, offering ourselves to the Lord. As members of the Body of Christ, we become part of His eternal sacrifice.
I couldn’t find this footnote in my RSV CE Bible though.
In Micah 6:6-7, the people thought similar sacrifices to false gods like Baal may be pleasing to the Lord. These sacrifices included infant sacrifice. Micah 6:8 answers it. Hence such types of sacrifices “avail nothing”.
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
Other posters have given other angles of looking at it. Other verses such as Isaiah 29:13 and Mat 15:8 show clearly that God does not delight in exterior motions if the heart is not with him.