|The Book of Isaiah: Seeing the Glory of God|
SINFUL WAYS OF SEEKING
Saturday, July 28, 2018 | Isaiah 58, Isaiah 56–58
On October 25, 1964, the Minnesota Viking’s defensive end Jim Marshall made one of the most infamous plays in NFL history. When San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Billy Kilmer, fumbled the football, Marshall picked up the loose ball and ran for the end zone untouched. But he didn’t score a touchdown: Marshall, becoming disoriented on the field direction, ran the ball to the wrong end zone, scoring a safety and giving two points to the 49ers! The entire time he thought he was going the right way down the field.
Much in the same way, Israel sought the Lord
daily. They were fasting and coming before the Lord on the Sabbath. But they weren’t hearing the applause from heaven. When they inquired why, they discovered that they had been seeking the Lord in the wrong way. But if fasting is the wrong way, what would be the right way down this field?
The acts of bowing before the Lord are meaningless when not coupled with works of righteousness. Israel had conducted business on the Sabbath, mistreated workers, overlooked the hungry, left the homeless in the streets, and forgotten the poor. No amount of fasting and Sabbath-keeping could cover their sin. They were seeking the Lord as hypocrites.
The Lord loves Faithful Acts
of liturgy, but He also requires faithful acts of justice (see Micah 6:8). Both are involved in making true worshipers who seek Him the right way. The contrition that should make us seek the face of God for His mercy, joy, and blessing should also lead us to return such mercy, joy, and blessing to marginalized people in society who are in need. True worship also must transform our work for the needy in society. This is God’s chosen fast.
|APPLY THE WORD|
God wants our hearts to break over the pain that breaks His heart—injustice, oppression, neglected children who are hungry, and violence. We can’t claim to be worshiping Him if we are participating in or perpetuating any of these evils. How can you and your church bring glory to God by addressing some of these needs in your community?