In Isaiah Chapter 1 the prophet Isaiah speaks about the rebellion of the people of Judah. They had once again become a sinful nation. God laments over them, His children who behaved like the world. In fact their wickedness had become so great that he compared them to two of the most notoriously evil cities in history in verses 9-10,
“If the Lord of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we should have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!”
The people were living evil selfish lives. They were doing whatever they chose. But they were still making sacrifices, doing lip service to the Sabbath and other important days, and going through the rituals and traditions of worshipping God. But it wasn’t real. They were pretending to have a relationship with God, all the while they were living like the rest of the world and even worse. They had no excuse. They knew who God was, they knew the Law, and they knew God’s great power and love. Verses 11-17 read,
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
12 “When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations--
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow's cause.”
You have a wonderful mighty awesome Father who loves you and loves the lost. He wants you to express your love of Him by going to the lost, the fatherless. He wants you to tell the widow, that He is her bridegroom and He is there for her. He wants you love them in His name.
God doesn’t want you to go through the steps of worship when your heart is not in it. He doesn’t want you to put on a pretense of being His child on Sunday morning, when you live to please the world and your desires Sunday afternoon through Saturday night. Real worship of God is done through loving people. That kind of life is sullied and dirty. What once may have been beautiful has become ugly. Verses 22-23 read,
“Your silver has become dross,
your best wine mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not bring justice to the fatherless,
and the widow's cause does not come to them.”
He will do whatever He has to do to restore His relationship with you, His beloved child. He will even use people that hate Him to do it. He loves you too much to allow you to keep walking your path of destruction, fooling yourself that you are living the way He wants you to. That mask of pretend worship may fool you, but it doesn’t fool your LORD. He knows your heart. He’s calling you to Him. He has an offer for you, for the lost, the broken, and lonely. Verse 18 reads,
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.”
Verses 24-26 read,
“Therefore the Lord declares,
the Lord of hosts,
the Mighty One of Israel:
“Ah, I will get relief from my enemies
and avenge myself on my foes.
25 I will turn my hand against you
and will smelt away your dross as with lye
and remove all your alloy.
26 And I will restore your judges as at the first,
and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
the faithful city.”
I would personally rather not go through that. You do not have to. You can give up the pretense. You can repent now and worship Him in Spirit and truth. Don’t wait for Him to send the fires to purify you. Don’t way for Him to send the sword to cut out your pride. Don’t wait for the lye to clean away the lies.
The world only looks good. It is nothing compared to the awesome beauty of The Kingdom of God. Do you have one foot in the world? Do you go through the steps of a relationship with God but haven’t truly even talked with Him lately? Are you in love with the world so much that you are not able to love them with God’s Love? He will restore you. He will bring you back to Him by any means necessary. Do not wait for Him to get to that point. Remember who He is. Repent. Turn back to Him. Accept the grace, love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Let the Spirit fill you, comfort you and guide you. Be one with The Father in that beautiful relationship.