The Story: Shouldn’t we have expected that, if wicked people showed up to worship God, the gatekeepers and Levites would have turned them away? Apparently, here in the midst of God’s worshiping people, wicked folk were singing the hymns, reciting the creeds, and otherwise mouthing off as though they were members in good standing of God’s covenant community. Yet they were an undisciplined lot – no time for such things as prayer, meditation, fasting, and so forth. They forgot whatever they heard in worship as soon as they walked out of the building (v. 17). The wicked worshippers in Israel winked at all kinds of sin, from thievery to adultery to equivocation and lies (vv. 18, 19). And they bore grudges and harbored ill-feelings toward the people closest to them in life (v. 20). Israel needed to know that no amount of external propriety in worship can conceal the wickedness that is in our hearts before the searching eye of Him Who comes to examine and weigh our souls in worship.
The Structure: The sad state of church discipline in our day has brought about a situation in which many people come to church to worship God without having repented of sins. No one holds them accountable; everyone is so quick to overlook or forgive sins that no real sins are ever dealt with in a sanctifying manner. Are we in danger of being a people who gather each Lord’s Day to worship God, taking on our lips the various emblems and expressions of our covenant relationship with God, but, because of besetting sin we find our worship rejected and ourselves in danger before the Lord?Does your church’s service of worship include a time for confessing sin? Does your church practice church discipline? Why not ask one of your pastors or leaders?
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The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.