Worship Must Include Justice and Righteousness

I try to feed on several different parts of God’s Word everyday. This doesn’t fit everyone, but is just what I need. I like to think of it as balancing my spiritual diet. Everyday, I read parts of the Old Testament, Psalms, Gospels, New Testament and a Proverb. It ends up I read the Bible through every year and the Proverbs once a month (I need the extra wisdom). Today, in my devotional treck, I was reading through Amos and came upon the most amazing prophecy. Listen to God speak to you through Amos:

“I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt
offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

Amos 5:21-24

This hit me between the eyes. I heard God speaking right into my life at so many times and places. If my life is not a constant pursuit of righteousness and justice, my worship is noise in God’s ears. God does not want heartless offerings and sacrifices. He deeply desires righteousness which flows from hearts that love and enjoy Him.

I wonder how many times in our church services, God is saying, “Take away the noise of your worship; to your professional worship bands, I will not listen.” Not because of the quality of the music, or the words that are being sung. Not because of the decorations or the number of people. But because, our hearts are far from him.

We are far too good at decieving ourselves in worship. We are awed by the beauty of the song, the harmony of the band, the beauty of the backdrop or lighting, even the background on the overhead. And we can even be decieved in our thoughts about God. We think warm loving thoughts about God, instead of being deeply concerned with God’s thoughts about us.

God’s highest thoughts towards us is love, which means His highest hate is toward our sins (big and small). In worship, we must constantly loath our sins and desire His righteousness in our lives. I fear we don’t hate our sins much at all. More often, we hate not being able to do what we want when we want. We dislike (or are annoyed by) our sins for our sake, while God hates all sin for His glory’s sake. All sin always has great enmity towards the glory of God. If we are to worship properly, we must see righteous and just living as our highest priority. This will fuel passionate and consistant digestion of God’s word, and prayer without ceasing for more of Christ’s righteousness and less of our indwelling sin.

Oh God, may our worship be sweet in Your ears, because we live lives of righteousness and justice for Your names’ sake.

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