9/2 Isaiah 1:13

13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations- I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.

Ritualism gives God no satisfaction at all. In fact, He abhors it! This verse describes worship functions that were part of God's direction for worship for the nation of Israel. The people were commanded to worship in this manner, but they were also commanded to have a circumcised heart, which is a heart tender toward God (Deuteronomy 10:12-21).

Isaiah prophesied to the nation shortly before Assyria came to take the northern tribes captive. It would have dire consequences for Judah as well. The reason for God's wrath was His children's unfaithfulness to Him. It was not unfaithfulness in worship ritual, but unfaithfulness to live out what their worship represented. The land was filled with injustice, oppression, violence, and rebellion against God.

Worship in all its forms, including singing, giving, preaching, and study of God's Word, must be done with hearts that are surrendered to live as God would have us live. Love for God and love for our fellow man is to be our priority. Without these, God abhors our acts of worship. They are hypocritical and lead others to think it is meaningless to worship God. It can drive people away from the true God instead of inviting them to come to know Him.

Consider: Whenever we gather for public worship, let us examine our hearts to be sure they are surrendered to live according to what our worship is declaring. When God reveals our words of worship are not in conformity with our lives, let us commit to letting His Spirit bring into conformity with His Word.