Posted: May 22, 2016 (11:33 PM) by CalvinDude
Before the church service today, I began to read Isaiah while the worship “band” warmed up. As I was going through the opening verses, I was struck by a simple sentence—not even a full verse. It’s the tail end of Isaiah 1:13, which says: “I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.”
This is the LORD speaking, and in the context He’s speaking of how sick He is of all the sacrifices that are being offered. Now we know that the sacrifices were commanded by God for the propitiation of sins; yet that’s not what people were using them for. Instead, they were using the sacrifices as their “get out of jail free” card, while still worshiping false gods along with Yahweh.
One of the things that’s easy for us to forget is that when Israel worshiped idols, she did not completely abandon God. Instead, Israel engaged in what’s known as syncretism—merging various beliefs into the same religious practice.
This is a temptation that modern Christians face too, albeit less overtly. Instead, we face it every time we bump into cultural relativism. “That may be true for you, but this is true for me. Why can’t we all just get along?” And if you buy into that, believing that multiple roads lead to Heaven, then when you attend your church services remember that God “cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.” The two are oil and water.
I think this carries over a bit into the practice of the Lord’s Table (or Lord’s Supper). One of the proper roles of church government is to “fence” the table; that is, to ensure (to the best of their ability) that only Christians are eating of it. Because Paul clearly says that to misuse the Table is to bring judgment upon oneself.
Because, again, God cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly together. It is not the sacrifice that is bad, but rather the attitude that spurns the sacrifice.
Anyway, just some thoughts.
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