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False Worship - Isaiah 1

3 March, 2003 4:56 PM

I've decided to take a walk through Isaiah the next few weeks. Today started in logical place of Isaiah 1. I was struck by the words in verse 17.

'LEARN TO DO GOOD. SEEK JUSTICE. HELP THE OPPRESSED. DEFEND THE ORPHAN. FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF WIDOWS.'

In context they stand in stark contrast to what the people of God have been doing. God describes their efforts at connecting with him as sinful, empty and false. Their actions are described as 'worthless slag' and 'watered down wine'. The tone of Gods words is of frustration, disgust and anger. It is confronting.

God says he's even at the point of not listening to or seeing their prayers because of the emptiness and hypocrisy of the peoples behaviour! This doesn't sound like the God we hear about most Sundays - a God of love, patience, acceptance of us just the way we are...This God is confronting at the emptiness and futility of his people's faith!

Makes me wonder what God thinks about what we do as his Church today! How seriously do we take the call to justice? How central is defending, helping and fighting for the rights of the less fortunate to our faith? Have we lost sight of some of the central purposes of God? Do our worship services seem empty and even 'false' in the eyes of God when we fail to grapple with the things that seem to be fairly and squarely upon his heart?

Comments

Page:

A good start on your walk through Isaiah. I need to get back into Isaiah; it's been awhile. But for now I'm praying the Psalms (see today's blog entry for details.

Peace,

Andrew

P.S. - I still need to update your website on my blogroll. I'll get to it one of these days...

Andrew Careaga » 4 March, 2003 3:43 AM

Ah yes - peace, justice, the needy and oppressed, etc. All the big ones. Not to move you from Isaiah, but...

I remember hearing someone speak on the issue of justice and oppression, and they pointed out some scripture that blew me away. The speaker talked about how we knew what the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was...right? Well, try this one for size:

Ezekiel 16:49, 50
"The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury--proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them. (The Message)

Yup - the obscene stuff gets a mention... but only AFTER the part about ignoring the oppressed and poor.

That one hit me like a brick.

Mike » 4 March, 2003 8:41 AM

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