I Hate, I Despise Your Singing

Worship1 “Away with your hymns of praise!  They are only noise to my ears.  I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is.  Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry.”  Amos 5:23-24 (NLT)

We can be singing in harmony, in respectable and worshipful manner, but if our lives do not reflect the words of worship coming out of our lips it is all noise.  A rumble of chatter piling week after week is what our praise sounds like when we put up a show. Last week during our woman’s bible study, we spoke about the silence that the people of Israel experienced.  Since the beginning of time, God chose to set HIS people apart by gifting them with something no other tribe or group of people had; HE spoke to them.  He spoke through the prophets.  All the other peoples in the world served theirs gods who never spoke to them directly.  They had mediators.  had to worship out of fear.  They did not have a direct channel of communication, no relationship outside of the religious rituals.  Israel was a peculiar people in that what set them apart was that they had a relationship with the God who spoke to them.  But imagine God coming to a point of frustration to declare to Israel, “I hate your show and pretense–the hypocrisy of your religious…assemblies” (Amos 5:21).   Another rendition of this verse states “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies…I will not listen.”  What would you do if God told you I hate what you do and I will not listen?

This verse keeps a special place in the back of my mind.  I am part of our church’s worship team, and I have to constantly remind myself to not fall in the trap of singing empty words for my Lord.  The moment I recognize that I am just making noise, I am diligent to go to my Father and make things right.  There is a tug in my heart to “return” to the days of conscious living where my heart and lips walk along each other, where my talk and my walk never parted ways, and where my singing was a reflection of my love for Jesus.  It is easy to be busy bodies in this time-driven consumer-living culture.  I have school, homework, housework, church work, practices, services, classes to teach, ministry time, office work, and more to do that many times, a routine is much easier for me to follow.  The bad news is that that routine also absorbs my worship.  And, I don’t mean that I don’t have a devotional time, it’s just that “worship” becomes exactly that, a devoted time instead of a lifestyle.  I dread to think that my precious Savior would say those words of my life (which should be an expression of worship/service to the Lord)…”I hate, I despise your singing” because your river has gone dry of the righteousness that I desire.”  Beloved, let us not give the Lord lip service.  Let’s not be like our cartoon friends above that loose focus on the true meaning of worship and of what truly pleases God.

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