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Irritation in a Church Service:

It is not all that strange for people to come to church and be dissatisfied with something going on there. On the two occasions I had recently to sit out in the audience at church with my family I noticed myself focusing on things like the temperature of the room and the sound system settings. It was only natural since that was my first time to experience being in the audience in our new building. But I had to concentrate to stay focused on the matters at hand and not get sidelined by comfort or technical issues.

Imagine what it was like for God to show up in the temple in Isaiah’s day and be nauseated by the church service. But the temperature of the room and the volume level of the speakers didn’t upset him. He was turned off by the hypocrisy of the worship of the people assembled there. Doing all the right things for the wrong reasons was detestable in God’s eyes. Their sacrifices and offerings became a stench in God’s nostrils. Friends, you have to realize that country-club religion, making all the right moves while your heart is not in it, is not acceptable with God.

Yet even in God’s anger he speaks to these wayward people through Isaiah with a tenderness even in the midst of his tough words

In Isaiah 1:18ff he says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

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