Month 7:13, Week 2:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year 5935:184 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 10 October 2011
Acceptable Sacrifices Today
What Yahweh is Seeking from Us
As observers of "times and seasons" (Dan.2:21, NIV), be they sabbaths, new moons, or annual festivals such as the one we are waiting for tomorrow evening, there is a very real danger of being so occupied with these that we forget what it is they are supposed to represent for every day of the year. Just as true devotion does not just consist in the performance of certain religious duties but in the spirit in which ordinary duties of common life are performed, so true observance of Yahweh's moedim or appointments does not simply consist in their performance but in the spirit that these moedim are performed.
Doing what you are expected to do isn't real service. Doing what you are expected to do with a true lev (heart) is true service because then the whole soul - body, mind, and spirit - are fully engaged. So long as our lives are full of selfishness then no matter how 'good' we may feel inside because of some service we have done, it is not service to Yahweh. It is not service to His glory.
It is easy to pride onself is what we can do and imitate spirituality by comparing ourselves with what others have not done. To be sure, doing it is better than not doing it at all, but doing it with a right lev (heart) is what counts in the heavenlies. If we attend meetings or carry out duties and services reluctantly or with resentment, then we are serving in the flesh, not the Ruach (Spirit).
Contrary to the deceitful claims of antinomians that this passage is proof that Yahweh doesn't want us observing moedim, this passage is saying that "your" appointments with Him is what His soul "hates", not the appointments He has Himself ordained. He hates any performance that is not carried out with a true lev (heart) - for Him they are as Sodom and Gomorah.
"O Hear the word of Yahweh, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the Torah (Law) of our Elohim (God), you people of Gomorrah: 'To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" says Yahweh. 'I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies -- I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood" (Isa.1:10-15, NKJV).
Today we do not bring animal sacrifices because these have been fulfilled in Messiah but we still bring sacrifices, the same as those true worshippers who also brought animal sacrifices of old. And what are these?
Whether is is some menial job you have to do at work, or some tiresome chore at home, or whether it is gathering to worship Yahweh at the appointed times and at other times determined by heads of households, there is only one way to serve, and that is with "a broken ruach (spirit), a broken and a contrite lev (heart)". And until we do that, we will be opposed by Yahweh: "I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear". We may not have literal blood on our hands but we may have have spilled other things.
"The sacrifices of Elohim (God) are a broken ruach (spirit), a broken and a contrite lev (heart). These, O Elohim (God), You will not despise" (Ps 51:17, NKJV).
Worship, in any case, is not praying or singing in a meeting. It's our attitude. Even as Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
And remember, even the tasks you have to do day by day are supposed to be worship, but they can only be if done in ruach (spirit) and emet (truth)/tavnith (pattern).
"True worshipers will worship the Father in ruach (spirit) and emet (truth); for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. Elohim (God) is spiritual, and those who worship Him must worship in ruach (spirit) and emet (truth)" (Jn.4:23b-24, NKJV).