From The Heart
By Gary Bowell
Isaiah was proclaiming a message concerning true worship. In his day, as in any age, there were some who went through a form of worship, but they were not concerned about living godly lives. The form of worship then became more important than true worship. God did not accept their sacrifices because they were not walking in obedience to God.
"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth; they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them (Isaiah 1:14).
Matthew Henry reminds us: "There are many who are strangers, nay, enemies, to the power of religion, and yet very zealous for the show and shadow and form of it."
We are reminded of the woman Jesus met at the well of Jacob near Sychar. She tried to discuss which was the proper place to worship God: Jerusalem or Gerazim. The Lord instructed her that God wants those who worship Him to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
We also turn to Paulís last writing in which he describes the last days in which men will have "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." God is looking for true worship from the heart....
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men...." (Isaiah 29:13).
Isaiah was burdened for his people that they were religious, but not close to God. Notice that the verse above states that they had removed their heart far from God! This is a passage from Isaiah that the Lord Jesus quoted and applied to religious people when He was on this earth. He spoke thus:
"Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
How God wants the surrender of our hearts! He desires that we be close to Him, not far removed from Him. "Let us draw near with a true heart" (Heb. 10:22).
From Stones With Fair Colors, by Gary Bowell.