Minute in the Word
“God Wants Our Heart”
I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god—your images that you made for yourselves, and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.
Amos 5.21-27 ESV
TODAY’S READING: AMOS 1-5
Israel's worship to God was an absolute abomination. So much that God says, I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. God would not accept their burnt offerings, grain offerings, and peace offerings. Their songs were nothing but noise to Him of which God would not listen. Their worship was void because it lacked true devotion to God. God did not want just their worship. He wanted their hearts. Had He had their hearts then justice and righteousness would have characterized the nation. Justice would have been seen in the ways they lived their lives outwardly: with godly practices in their personal and social lives. The awful truth was that Israel never gave themselves fully to God. Even while worshipping God during the forty years in the wilderness God’s people toyed with idolatry. (See also Ezekiel 20:5-8.) They secretly carried along shrines to their idols and worshipped the “star god.” While Israel was convinced of the need to turn away from idols, Joshua 24:16-18, they were never fully converted to the Lord.
Today, we must give God our heart. We must not do obedience, just for obedience’s sake. There is a higher purpose. While obedience is our duty, it should be much more than that. Some do acts of service only “because they have to.” When this happens, service in the kingdom is all about externals – rather than an inward change of the heart. A person is not saved merely because he or she is obedient to laws and precepts. There’s got to be more. God has a higher purpose. Genuine relationship is built on love. Have you give your heart to God? I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me, Galatians 2.20.