Worshiping Like Israel

Isaiah 58:3-7

"Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?"

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.

Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.

Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?

Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

I think a lot of times we view our going to Sunday services and singing songs to God in the same manner that Israel viewed their fasting. If we aren't freeing the oppressed; if we aren't feeding the hungry; if we aren't housing the homeless; if we aren't clothing the naked; and if we aren't helping our kin, then we could sing a thousand songs with hands raised, feet dancing, and eyes closed, yet it would amount to nothing. We could have the biggest spiritual rush of our lives, but it would be just another ecstatic experience that people receive when they go to a concert of any sort.

It is emphasized throughout the prophets that he is pleased with a life of worship to him, and that is about all. Fasting, singing, and all other sort of sacrifices are meaningless to God if we don't have a life that helps those in need.

Oh, how we confuse the presence of the Spirit.