“Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me..I cannot bear your worthless assemblies…They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:13 -17, NIV).
Over the past few days, I’ve struggled to find the “right” words to say to the Church. Posts have been rewritten and subsequently deleted. Nothing has adequately reflected the state of my heart—until now. Honestly, if ever there was a passage in Scripture that tells us the church doesn’t always get it right, it’s this one, and now, more than ever, we need to hear it.
In case you missed it, God was downright disgusted with His people, unable to bear their meaningless, ingenuine religious offerings that simply did not marry with the actions of men with “blood on their hands.” What He truly wanted from them was this: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.”
It’s written there plainly in God’s Word, the one that was brandished like a weapon on live television as carnage raged and the voices of the oppressed cried out for change. And it’s message is as relevant today as it was then.
Let it to be our call to action once more, Church. Let’s stop sleeping and start seeking. To be defenders of those who face persecution of all kinds; to be powerful advocates for justice and mercy; to be the lights of the world that we are called to be, directing a broken, hurting world back to Him.
It takes humility to admit our mistakes, Church; to reflect on where we are and where we’ve gone wrong. To heal the hurt and repair the dividing walls between the very people we are called to minister to. But first we have to want to. We have to care enough to say “Enough!”
The question is, do we?