“Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth.” ~Isaiah 58:14a
There was a strong sense of fear for me growing up of ever being arrested. I could remember my Father telling me “don’t ever do anything so bad that your name would be in the newspaper”. My Dad had a high regard for our name and didn’t want it to be “dragged through the mud”, and I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to do it. Now I wish I could say I never broke the law but that would be a lie. I was just very good at not getting caught.
The word misappropriation is a strong word that brings with it a condemnation and certainly nothing that I would want any part of. It is usually associated with mishandling money for self-serving or illegal gain.
The 58th chapter of Isaiah is an account of the Prophet proclaiming to the people that their worship is nothing more than self-serving with a hope that God would hear them and bless them because of their efforts. The people’s complaint is ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
The idea seemed to be “If I fast then I’ll be able to perform my religious duty and God will bless me”. It’s a mentality similar “misappropriation” of funds but instead it’s a “misappropriation of worship”.
God is displeased with His people once again in this potion of scripture and is using Isaiah to bring a warning that this type of behavior only leads to bondage, a type of imprisonment. Similar to what would happen to us if we were to misappropriate funds and get caught.
I’m afraid that I think I can get away with my “acts of worship” and fool God. The truth is I might be able to fool you but not God.
The message from Isaiah is that God desires an authentic attitude when we gather together in His name. I have been thinking about the events leading up to the Easter season and the purpose Jesus had in coming. He not only made away for us to be forgiven but also exposed the idle worship of His people while He was here.
So, at this time of year let’s make the appropriate attempt of worship, placing our worship where it belongs not trying to “work the system”. Isaiah delivers a message to God’s people in verses 13 and 14,
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member at America’s Keswick in the maintenance department.
The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 83; Proverbs 23
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: “Are you facing fear today? Perhaps you are afraid of losing your job, of developing cancer or being left by your spouse. At times all of us experience fear. But don’t allow fear to keep you from being used by God. He has kept you thus far; trust Him for the rest of the way.” ~Dr. Woodrow Kroll (Enjoy Dr. Kroll this Memorial Day Weekend at America’s Keswick
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off. ~Psalm 37:38 (NKJV)
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