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  • Joe Norton

The Missing Elements (12/13/2020)

“When you spread out your hands,

I will hide My eyes from you;

Even though you make many prayers,

I will not hear.

Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:15).

The prophet Isaiah has already issued a scathing rebuke against Israel in this chapter because of her rejection of God and His instruction. Even in her rebellion, Israel has kept up a pretense of religion and a cold, formal exercise of religious rituals.

The problem was there was no depth— no real substance in her worship. Evidently, she didn’t even believe in the things she was doing. God, through Isaiah, went so far as to say that He had no more delight in sacrifices, incense, new moons, Sabbaths, or the assembling of the people. Why?

The reason was the people had evil dispositions and bad attitudes. Justice, mercy, and love were unknown among them. These were The Missing Elements. We learn from Isaiah and many other writers that it is not enough to have the right form of worship and practice the right acts in our worship. As well, we must have the right attitude toward God and toward our fellow Christians.

Worship, then, is more than the outward observance of forms and ceremonies. For sure, we must comply with God’s pattern for worship but also we must have the right attitude in our hearts because if the heart is wrong, the worship is wrong—our worship is, then, vain and profitless as far as God is concerned.


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