“I hate, (says God- I hate) I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” – Amos 5:21
Thatâ€™s pretty strong condemnation from the Lord! Obviously, this was a time when the children of Israel were engaging in all kinds of evil doings. They were worshiping idols, committing adultery, divorcing, and only giving God their leftovers. They had basically turned their hearts against God and His will for their lives.
And now, they wanted Godâ€™s help. The economy had gone south and their crops were not fruitful. They couldnâ€™t understand why God wasnâ€™t coming through for them. â€œGod, weâ€™re worshipping with passion. Weâ€™re weeping on the altar. Weâ€™re pleading for Your mercy and forgiveness. Weâ€™re bringing You our offerings. What in the world is going on?â€
Sound familiar? The economy has gone south. Jobs have been lost. Marriages ruined. Do you ever find yourself asking the same question? â€œHey, God, Iâ€™m going to church on Sunday, Iâ€™m singing Your praises, so why havenâ€™t things turned around for me?â€ Never mind that Iâ€™m cheating on my income taxes. Or that Iâ€™m feasting on pornography. Or that Iâ€™m mistreating my children.
Iâ€™ve got news for you: we cannot buy Godâ€™s favor with our offerings. We do not impress Him with an emotional, weeping, passionate worship, if our lifestyle doesnâ€™t show a heart for God. He is far more concerned with our obedience than with our emotional worship. In fact, He wonâ€™t even ACCEPT our offerings or our songs of worship unless our hearts are truly repentant and our lives are following Jesus.
So, I ask youâ€¦where is your heart?