What God Wants

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.  Though ye offer me burnt-offerings and your meat-offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts.  Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.  But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Amos 5:21-24

God gets very explicit in His instructions to the Israelites here.  He tells them that He has no interest in their feast days, nor in their burnt offerings.  In fact, He says that He despises them.  He has no desire to hear their songs.  Was there anything inherently wrong with any of those things?  Of course not.  In fact, those were all things that the Lord had, at one point, told them to do.  Their problem was a simple one: they were doing these things only as an outward show of religion.  They had no heart behind their “worship.”

In verse 25 and 26, God tells them that while they have been offering Him sacrifices, they have also been serving their own gods, Moloch and Chium.  They were giving God an outward show of devotion, while continuing to worship the gods of their own making and, in essence, worshiping themselves.  God tells the Israelites that He wants two things.  And they are the same two things that He wants from us today:

“…let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.”  God wanted them to judge themselves, get rid of their false gods and idols, and serve Him.  That is what He wants from us today.  He wants us to judge the sin in our lives, get rid of anything that keeps us from Him, and follow Him completely and wholly.  Judge the sin, get rid of it, and “follow after righteousness.”  That is what God wants.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Oh goodness…

    ” God tells the Israelites that He wants two things. And they are the same two things that He wants from us today:”

    We are still without excuse… Thanks for taking us through this very pointed and interesting book. I’m learning something every day!

    Blessings ‘Teacher Ben’
    ann

    Reply

    • All of the prophets are very pointed. Sometimes they are tough to read just because of all of the judgment that they contain. But it is an important lesson that we need. Even in the midst of judgment, the Lord still shows mercy and compassion. That is encouraging to me.

      Reply

  2. “Worship the gods of their own making “. What a temptation that is! When God as God leads us into a place we would not choose to go, we are left with the decision to follow Him into the breach or pull back and create a God of our own imagination.
    I know so many who have chosen to believe a lie rather than follow God where he leads. Thanks for posting abd reminding us of the necessity to let the Lord lead!

    Reply

    • That is very true. It’s so easy to not “follow Him into the breach,” but to create our own “god” and justify to ourselves whatever we are doing. That is a bad place to be, but sadly, not an uncommon place to be.

      Reply

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