As we've discovered in this passage, God has some pretty strong things to say to folks who go through the motions of worship without acknowledging their sin."
Whitney T. Kuniholm wrote this in reflecting on the passage I am looking at from the book of Amos in the Old Testament. I am currently journaling through the book titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story written by Whitney T. Kuniholm. This is number 10 of the one hundred passages he has outlined in his book.
This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: "Seek me and live; ... There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground. ... There are those who hate the one who reproves in court and detest the one who tells the truth. You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. ... "I hate, I despise your religious festivals; I cannot stand your assemblies. ... Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. (Amos 5:4,7,10-12,21,23)God hates hypocrisy. Religious show and pretense angers God. We see that here in the book of Amos. The leaders, the powerful, the privileged were walking all over the poor and oppressed in their society while gaining more and more and living in luxury. They perverted the judicial system and ignored truth and justice at the expense of the under privileged. Yet, they worshiped in a big way, singing songs and making music to God as if nothing was wrong, never acknowledging there was something seriously wrong. They made a big deal about all the religious festivals and their offerings while ignoring their own sin. There was no repentance only a focus on rules and judgment of others. It was all a show.
Unfortunately I can relate. I have been a hypocrite. More focused on others and their mistakes than my own. I have gone to church only to fulfill a requirement of what I thought I was suppose to do in our society. I wasn't following Christ, I was following man and society. I've prayed and sung songs only as part of a ceremony without it being real and from my heart. I have been part of the show.
This is stupid! If I believe in an all powerful, all knowing God this kind of show is just plain stupid. Even if the people around me can be fooled God certainly isn't. He sees right through it. God sees the heart. I want to be honest with God, with myself, with others around me. I want to stop performing for man. I want to follow Christ leaving the religious show behind.
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