In the woe to Jerusalem in Isaiah 29, the problem wasn’t religion, but the state of the heart. People were performing religious duties, but they weren’t worshiping with their hearts. “These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is based on merely human rules they have been taught. “ Isa. 29:13
“These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is based on merely human rules they have been taught. “Isa. 29:13, NIV
How much of modern worship is based on ritual and requirements?
We are almost at Holy Week. We will have C&E ers (those who only connect with church for Christmas and Easter) and Sunday morning worshipers, but I wonder how many people are coming because those are the rules they grew up with (human rules)? How many are worshiping God with their hearts? How many people are actually putting God first in their lives throughout the week?
Aren’t we as a people much like the people of Judah that Isaiah was writing to? “Can the pot say to the potter, ‘You know nothing?’”
Now, because of the quarantine, people have had that ritual broken.
I wonder how many will choose to come back? I wonder how many will find that this broke that “human rules” practice, and choose to allow this to distance them from God?
If God’s people don’t turn back to Him soon, we can expect no different treatment than what the people of Judah got. This should be a concern for us.
But we also have a great opportunity before us. We have the opportunity to look fresh at what we have been doing and make sure that our hearts are in the right place. We get the opportunity to seek God and do what He is calling us to do, and to worship Him as He calls us to, unhindered by tradition.
Oh Lord, open our eyes, that we might see where we really are. Help us to turn our hearts back to you before it’s too late!
In my next post, we will look at a people who were in a radically different place…