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A Tired God



“I have had enough of burnt offerings…Stop bringing your meaningless offerings…your incense is detestable to me…I cannot bear your evil assemblies…Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates, They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; I will not listen.” Isaiah 1:11-15 NIV
God seems to be contradicting himself in these verses because the very things he wants to stop, that he’s tired of, hates and finds detestable are exactly what he commanded his people, through Moses, to do. They thought they were being obedient and here was God, telling them that their obedience in these things was abhorrent to him. Why?

They were following the form of their religion without the substance. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the form but there was something lacking:


“Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” v. 17
I just realized something as I sat here thinking about it. This connects very closely to yesterday’s post. They were doing all the man-to-God things but had neglected some crucial man-to-man things. Their religion was incomplete without connecting to others, especially the needy and oppressed.

What really struck me a night or two ago when I was reading, was that we too have forms of Christianity that we follow. We tithe and give money at church and to meaningful mission organizations. We gather for church once or twice a week, celebrate Christmas, Easter (and other holy days depending on where we live), we pray. We sing songs of praise to God, preach sermons and witness. It’s not much different from what the Jews were doing in Isaiah’s day. Is God as annoyed with us as he was with them? Is he really listening to us pray or has he hidden his eyes and ears from us? How do we know?

God, I want to follow you in all ways. I want to be a delight to you, not burdensome or evil. Keep me on your path in all ways and not deluded into thinking I’m doing what you want when I’m not.

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In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…