The Worship God Hates – Part III
Last week, we continued in part two of our series The Worship God Hates. As we have pointed out throughout this study of God’s word, we must look at the nation of Israel as a parallel of the church in its relationship to God. Both are elect, chosen people of God. Both are called to be holy. Both have the favor of God. But just like everyone that was of Israel was not of Israel, so that those who are among the church are not part of the church (Romans 9:6). There is the true Israel, the remnant, invisible Israel so to speak, and there is the true church, the faithful, the invisible church. In other words, the invisible church is the church as God sees it, all who are His with 100% accuracy (2 Timothy 2:19).
This detail is important to grasp because it is the reason why the church calls those who attend a church gathering to repentance. Every congregation has the potential of having unbelievers. This is a certainty as the church grows. There are many who have a profession but not possession of true, saving faith.
During the time of Malachi, there we Israelites who went through the motions of religious ritual but they had no true love for God (Mark 7:6). This showed through their worship in what they offered to God on His altar. The centerpiece of worship in the Old Testament.
The first thing we saw last week was their sacrifices were corrupt. The law dictated they were supposed to offer sacrifices that we clean, without blemish (Lev_22:21). This meant that there was supposed to be no defect in animals they brought to the altar. The sacrifice had to be pure (Lev_22:22). Instead, they brought the worst of their flock to him. The lame, the sick, and the maimed. To offer blind, lame, and maimed sacrifices to God was a show of blasphemy.
What we bring to God in worship reflects what we think about God. Christian worship is often defined as the ascribing of worth or honor to the Triune God. It is adoration and praise as an expression or His worthiness. What we bring to God in worship puts our faith on display to the world.
The Israelites offered this not only because they thought little of God, but because they didn’t want to lose out. They kept the best for themselves and gave the scraps and leftovers to God. True sacrifices cost us something. As the new covenant priesthood, we offer up spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5). It should cost us something when we offer our sacrifices to God in faith. If it is our very lives, it should cost us our own pleasure and desires to order our life that is pleasing to God that promotes an attitude of worship to Him in everything we do. In giving, it should cost us something when we give financially to the church or to the needs of others. When we give sacrifices of praise, it should cost us something, especially when we don’t feel like it because we’ve had a bad day or something is going on in our lives that’s distressing. Sacrifice costs something.
The Israelites had lost the meaning behind the purpose of the law. The law was to direct in the reality that true worship is daily living. It was not only when they went to the altar. It was not just on festivals and Sabbaths. It was not when there was a ceremony involved. It was everyday living in everything.
This principle has not changed for the church. Worship is not a two-hour slot that transpires on Sunday morning. Nor is it when the band begins the play. Nor is it when someone sings in the church assembly. Worship must be in spirit and in truth 24/7. In spirit meaning it must be of a spiritual nature from people who are spiritually alive. We must be made spiritually alive—born again— again in order to worship properly. If we have not been born again of the Holy Spirit of God, we’re none of His and our worship is corrupt at best and always offensive.
This then was the spiritual state of the Israelites—including the spiritual leaders—in Israel. It was a blasphemous, dishonoring state towards God and it is a scary reflection of the modern church today.
This morning, we’re going to continue our look at this sad state of the Israelites as they offered The Worship God Hates.
Join us Sunday at Berean Home Fellowship, 3628 Torrance Dr., Toledo, Ohio 43612. Our tune in right here (https://www.facebook.com/BereanHomeFellowship/) for the live stream beginning between 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Teaching independence in dependence on God.by