Digging in Deeper: Amos 5:21-24

“I hate, I despise, your feasts! I can’t stand the stench of your solemn assemblies. Even if you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; I will have no regard for your fellowship offerings of fattened cattle. Take away from me the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice flow like water, and righteousness, like an unfailing stream.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever received a gift you really didn’t want? I remember playing a big family White Elephant game when I was growing up. I can’t remember exactly what the first gift I opened was, but it was something pretty cool and I was pleased. But then, my uncle used his turn to steal it for my cousin. The second gift I opened was literally a paperweight. I was crushed. I may have gotten a gift, but I most decidedly did not want it. That was a little bit like how God felt about the worship of the Israelites here. He wanted one thing, but they kept giving Him another; and He wasn’t happy about it.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Matthew 5:23-24

“So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever tried to do something while you were distracted? I’m trying to write this while my kids are watching a mid-90s teenybopper sitcom—not so easy. We weren’t made for doing multiple tasks at the same time. Some people may seem to have the ability to multitask, but the truth is that trying to do more than one thing at the same time is just going to result in not doing any of them very well. Rather uncomfortably, this goes for worship as well as life generally.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Deuteronomy 4:39

“Today, recognize and keep in mind that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other.” (CSB – Read the chapter

Idol worship is silly. The idea of bowing down to some statue like that statue could do anything is ridiculous. Even bowing down to a statue like it represents some kind of meaningful power and that power could impact you is laughable. Right? Sure, if you live in a culture where monotheism has been the most fundamental worldview assumption for most of 1500 years. If you don’t, it’s not nearly so laughable as it perhaps seems. And, just because monotheism is one of a culture’s guiding assumptions doesn’t mean that idol worship goes away, it simply changes forms. 

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 2:17

“Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Religious sin is disgusting.  Are you with me?  There’s something about seeing people use religion as a means of committing some kind of sin that is particularly repulsive.  We may not be able to give precise wording to it, but something inside of us recoils with especial revulsion when we see it.  There’s just something rotten about it.  Do you know what?  God feels the same way. Read the rest…