By Dean W. Masters
Isaiah 29:13-14 (NASB95) 13 Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”
In this passage God told Isaiah how he felt about the people in their services at the temple. They would come and go through the motions. They would say the right things at the right times but their hearts weren’t right. They were just giving God lip service.
Some people might think that their churches are alive. They might be full of activities. Their services might have the congregation making a lot of noise.. Just because the church is boisterous and full of activities doesn’t mean that it is alive. Those churches might be more dead than the quiet churches. What matters is what is in the heart. Do they love the Lord? Do they want to do everything to please Him at all times?
God said he was going to do marvelous things to those people. The way those people were just going through the motions I don’t think this means God was going to do something fantastically good. I believe that God was going to do something marvelously bad. This is what some Bible versions say. It would be something that they didn’t realize was coming. The people won’t know why God is doing it. He will confound even the wisest of them. He will do this to get their attention.
God tells Amos something similar:
Amos 5:21-24 (NASB95) 21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. 24 “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
It sounds like the people are doing the right thing with bringing their sacrifices and even making a loud noise with singing and musical instruments. God said he hated all of this. Again the peoples’ hearts were not in it. They were not living the way they should and only giving Him lip service and formality.
What did God want from His people? He wanted them to deal with others with justice. He wanted them to live righteous lives. That means living without sin. He wanted them to treat others fairly and follow all of His commandments. Jesus even said that if you love Him you will follow His commandments.
What about you? Do you just give God lip service? Do you come to church looking great and giving others the impression that you have it all together? Do you go looking like you are living the way God wants you to live but you are not actually doing it? Then you are playing church, giving God lip service. I’m afraid there are many in our churches that look good when we see them there but will not end up in heaven. They are just playing around and giving God lip service. If you are one of these, surrender your whole life to Jesus Christ. Turn it all over to Him and let him have control of your life. Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. You cannot trust on anyone or anything else. Only repenting of sin and surrendering your life to Jesus Christ.
By Dean W. Masters
Owner of the Master’s List
“Know God, know eternal life! No God, know eternal damnation“
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