ESOCS Devotional 14 November 2023 – Balnace Inward Expression and Outward Expression
MEMORY VERSE: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full 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.” Isaiah 1: 11 KJV
TEXT: ISAIAH 1:10-20 (KJV)
Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
11 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.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain 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.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15 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.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Israel and Judah offered many sacrifices to God, but they were unfaithful to Him, so He was not happy with them. He was not revoking the system of sacrifices He initiated with Moses instead, He was calling for sincere hearts of faith. The leaders were religiously making the traditional sacrifices at holy celebrations, but they were still unfaithful to Him in their hearts. Sacrifices were to be outward sign of their faith in God, but the outwards signs became empty when no faith existed. But they continued, why? They placed more faith in the rituals of their religion than in the God they worshipped. Of note is that the people did not feel sorry nor did they see anything wrong with the imbalance in their inward belief (in God) and the outward expression.
What about you? Do you observe religiously all church anniversaries, material prayers using incense, candles, olive oil, consecrated water, etc., and other religious rituals and placing one hundred percent faith in them, but remain unfaithful to God in your heart? But that is what we see today in many churches with the people believing they are doing the right thing.
Sacrifices, religious rituals and doctrines are nothing to God when they come from a corrupt heart and when they take the place of God. The outward is a reflection of the inward, so balance the two and live for God.
FURTHER READING: Deuteronomy 10:12-16; 1 Samuel 15:22, 23; Psalm 51:16-19; Hosea 6:6
ESOCS Devotional 14 November 2023