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Rediscover the Bible for Life
“When God Hates Worship”
By Dennis Lee
Just the other day I was reading the prophet Isaiah, and right off the bat in chapter one a most startling phrase caught my attention, especially when it concerns our attendance at church. The Lord through the prophet Isaiah said, “I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meetings.” (Isaiah 1:13b).
Their worship of God was meaningless and in the strongest of language God says that he hates it, “My soul hates, they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.” (Isaiah 1:14)
So, what was going on, why was God so adamant in His displeasure of His people’s worship of Him?
Isaiah wrote these words towards the end of King Uzziah’s reign, one that was now devoid of compassion and care. As they would go into the temple to worship God, it really wasn’t in Spirit and truth, but rather it was simply a formality and hypocritical.
God took no pleasure in the hypocrisy of their worship. It wasn’t true worship because they were living morally depraved and uncompassionate lives. J. Alec Motyer said this was “Religious commitment devoid of ethical resolve.”
So appalling were these gatherings in God’s sight that He said if it wasn’t for the few faithful believers among them, He would have wiped them off the face of the earth.
“Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9)
When we come to church, when we gather together as believers in Jesus Christ, when we sign our hymns, offer up prayers, give tithes and offerings, and study God’s word, this may become very displeasing to God when the spiritual and moral conditions of those who are doing it doesn’t line up with the content of their worship.
What are we to do? Confess our sinfulness and turn back to serving the Lord, and then we will be pleasing to the Lord, because now we are worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth.
But if I could add one more thing, it would be what the Apostle Paul tells to Titus concerning the conduct and behavior of those who call themselves by the name “Christian.”
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to me.” (Titus 3:8)
Campbell Morgan said, “There is no more powerful force for rebuking evil things, whether of conduct or of opinion, than that of the quiet, strong, persistent life of a man or woman who goes from day to day doing the duties of the day well, cheerfully, and with joy.”
Not only are we to be ready to do good works, Titus 3:1, but also we are to be careful, that is, we need to give careful thought and consideration as to what it’s going to take to maintain them.
“For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
This Sunday let’s gather together and worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study