Monday, October 22, 2012
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight” (Proverbs 15:8 KJV).
In today’s Scripture, we read of an abomination to the LORD and a delight of the LORD.
Especially during Isaiah’s time (circa 700 B.C.), apostasy was rampant in Israel’s southern kingdom (Judah and Benjamin). The LORD went so far as to call it (spiritually) “Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:10)!
Read God’s reprimanding of Israel’s southern kingdom: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats…. Bring no more vain [worthless] oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (verses 11,13-15).
God is sick of Judah’s double mindedness—she murders His prophets, yet she performs the Mosaic Law religiously (animal sacrifices, Sabbath day keeping, et cetera). Despite their godly façade, God can read their evil hearts. They were practicing Judaism, but not by faith: it was just worthless, mindless repetition, which God literally hated.
Jesus chided Israel’s religious leaders of His day, who were so fixated on executing ceremonies that they ignored having faith in why God had instructed them to perform those rituals (formalism): “Well hath Esaias [Isaiah 29:13] prophesied of you hypocrites, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7:6).
Let us not be like Israel, in Jesus’ and Isaiah’s day, who blindly performed religious ceremonies just to appear good. Faithless religious performance is “an abomination to the LORD,” just as wicked as indulging in the sins of the flesh.