I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a might stream.
This is a theme repeated in the Old Testament. God doesn’t want our prayers, our praise, or our offerings, if He doesn’t get our obedience.
When I first read this passage, my first thought was ‘that’s a little harsh.’ But now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense.
Let’s think about this from God’s perspective. Your friend tells you all the time how cool you are, how smart you are, how every girl/guy (respectively) in the school wants to date you. From the way your friend talks, s/he seem to think a lot of you.
But when you try to help her/him, to give him/her advice, s/he just ignores it. S/he spreads rumors about you behind your back, s/he goes and has other imaginary best friends that s/he thinks are real, and then s/he says that you are the only friend she ever has and that s/he wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.
But this entire time, you know what‘s happening. Now, do you ignore the behind-your-back behavior and listen to what s/he’s telling you to your face, or go with the whole picture and separate yourself from that friend?
You may not want to, but hopefully you would separate yourself. That’s what God is doing here. They are being great servants and followers to His face, but behind His back, they worshiped idols, ignored His words, and talked about how ‘bad’ He was. But the thing about God is, He sees everything.
“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:13
In His Service,