Wednesday, December 19, 2012

worship does things to us and among us

Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!'-only to go on doing all these abominations?
Jeremiah 7:9-10

The duplicity of Israel was appalling. Jeremiah's message at this point was to point out not only the idolatry that had captured the lives of everyday Israelis, but also the incessant flow of sin that welled up from their false worship. These actions were the fruit of what they worshiped.

Entire families from children on up to parents were involved in idolatrous practices. The children gathered wood, the fathers built the fires, and the mothers baked the bread that was offered to Baal's cohort Ashtoreth. This is a whole other meaning to the term "family worship". If this is what the family looked like, no wonder the society was broken.

So one of the key points of Jeremiah's message is that it matters what you worship. From worship stems all your other life choices. We act out of what our heart worships and we were created to worship God. When worship deviates from God , our sins will express themselves in disobedience to Him as well. In one sense our sin is expressed as a worship disorder.

Therein lay the duplicity that Jeremiah denounced. The nation was marked by violation of every part of the Mosaic Law. Thievery, murder, adultery, lying, and idolatry were outward manifestations of the inner worship of the wrong gods. And they had the bold gall to still attend temple gatherings in some tacit fashion. God told them He was not interested in those terms of attention from them. This was not what He taught them, neither was it what He wanted. He wanted hearts that sought Him, worshiped Him, loved Him, obeyed what scripture taught, and were changed in visible action toward others around them. It was in the doing of belief in God that worship really lived. And that is still the way worship works.

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