“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD.
” I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.
“When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts?
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
God was speaking to His people, those with whom He had made the Old Covenant. He was not rejecting their sacrifices or the keeping of the holy days. He was angry that they went through the rituals without the humility to submit to His great moral law in their daily lives.
We have the tendency to think of worship as something we do at a designated time and in a certain place, usually once a week. However, religion and worship in the biblical sense involve all of life. Christianity is a way of life (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4). Worship is the reflection of God living in the person no matter what he may be doing. It is his response to God, his interaction with Him. Thus, the Bible covers every aspect of life within its pages. A person truly interacting with God is worshipping God whether at church, work, play, or home. He will strive to glorify God in every situation.
Obviously, the people of Isaiah 1 were not at one with God, though they religiously observed the commanded activities. For a person to be at one with Him, what he does in every area of life must agree with what he professes by his attendance at a worship service.
How can those who treat their fellows with contempt, then take their greed, anger, revenge, and hatred into church fellowship, say they are displaying God’s Spirit? These characteristics are divisive! How can they say they worship God?
— John W. Ritenbaugh