“Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me.
New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies–
I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me;
I am weary to bear them.”
The people were doing the right things according to the Law. It looked good on the surface, to the eye of others, but God could see through to their hearts. Their hearts were not set upon God, but upon themselves and the world. Their hearts were filled with iniquity (immoral or grossly unfair behavior). The blood of their own hands covered them. God voiced, through Isaiah, such contempt in this first chapter of Isaiah. “But if their heart wasn’t changed, and humbled, and surrendered to the LORD, it made no difference. Without the right heart, God hated their religious ceremony and service!” (David Guzik wrote in his “Study Guide for Isaiah 1”.)
“So when you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Yes, even though you multiply prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood.”
I bow my head for I know that I do things that sound right, look right, feel right, but God can see my heart and knows when I am not standing rightly before Him. Matthew Henry, in his commentary, says, “…that sacrifice, without obedience, is a jest, an affront and provocation to God.”
God calls His children to:
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.”
Dearest Father, I call You… please be with me at every turn that I would and will do and be right in Your eyes. I ask for Your forgiveness and ask You to hold me near… that I may always be learning what it is to be Your obedient child. I want to please You, Father.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
“If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;
“But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Oh, Father, You want us to come to You with open and repentant hearts. You want us to do right in Your eyes. Please … Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7) I am Yours. I am no better than these, and I ask to come near, into Your Presence… I draw near to You for I desire to be in Your Presence, in Your Love. Teach me Your ways, O LORD. I am forever being woven. I humble myself before You and ask these in the precious Name of Jesus. Amen.
Graphics from http://www.heartlight.org