The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, And fear of me has become mere precept of human teaching, Isaiah 29:13 NABRE
The people thought Jerusalem was indestructible even while they were under threat from a more powerful nation. The prophecy of Isaiah indicates the attack on Jerusalem is allowed by God because the people observe the festivals in a mindless manner, their hearts are not truly devoted to God. Additionally, Israel’s King made alliances with nations rather than trusting God. God allows the attack to succeed to teach. It is common that a prophet is God’s messenger sent to rebuke those forgetting or defying God’s commands. We see in the quoted verse God saying the people honor with words and lip service, but their hearts are not with God. Fear of God (in biblical language this means respect for God) has become routine observance of the rules, not a conversion of hearts. This is a common problem, we tend to follow the rules of faith and we use the rules to do as little as possible.
We are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the sick. How we do these things determine our true commitment; do we do something easy or become personally committed. Organizations that serve the hungry will run a food drive, and people will pull food from their pantry to donate or buy something special for the food drive. Do we consider this to be enough? Or should we find a way to personally contribute feeding the hungry? Placing priority on serving with all our heart and soul is the expectation. Doing the minimal to check off a rule completed is giving “with words” and “lips alone.” To give from the heart requires commitment and sacrifice.
Do you follow the rules of your faith? Do you lead with your heart to serve those in need?We are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the sick. How we do these things determine our true commitment; do we do something easy or become personally committed. Click To Tweet
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