Isaiah Insights #2, to be broadcasts Monday, Dec. 2
Vain Worship, Isa. 1:12-18
In Isaiah chapter one, verses 12-16, God’s disappointment with His people in Judah and Jerusalem is spelled out in some detail, as it concerned their vain worship. While nurturing their crooked hearts and engaged in injustice and rebellion, yet – they continued to go through the motions of worship. Perhaps they were thinking their worship routine would in someway have a redemptive result, even though they continued in their sin?
God wouldn’t have it. He said, through the prophet, “bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me.” The prophet spoke for God, “Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.” Even when they prayed (no repentance), God said, “I will hide my eyes from you, even thought you make many prayers, I will not listen.”
Worship acts or rituals, when not accompanied by a sincere heart devoted to God, serve no purpose in the sight of God. Such acts may appear to men to be pious and admirable. God isn’t fooled. And the notion that such acts have a redemptive purpose is just wrong.
Jesus spoke of worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth (Jno. 4:24). But we can make this point in a larger context. Any form of “obedience” to God or attempt to worship is vain, when not accompanied by genuine motive.
So, back to our text in Isaiah 1, the prophet told these people: “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow,” (Isa. 1:16-18).
Isaiah Insights Podcasts #2