King's Business - 1949-09

Oct. 9, 1949

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OF TRUE WORSHIP ; Jer. 7:3-7

THE MORAL BASIS Isa. 1:11-18

pie of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord,” as though the mere physical con­ tact with that great structure would insure their favor with God. A temple or a church is a good thing, but the prophet would teach us that it is folly to expect mere formal identification with any such structure to satisfy God. Spiritual life must go deeper than that. God expects His followers to “ amend” their ways and doings, to demonstrate proper social relationships, and in all respects to manifest a transformed life. Such as these then have a right to ex­ pect real blessing from their church affiliations and frem ceremonies in which they engage. Again and again, the prophets of the Old Testament seek to get, the people to realize that God’s worship and serv­ ice are not superficial things. They are matters that spring from deep within a regenerate heart. Memory Verse: “ Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed” (Isa. 1:17). God called Isaiah to bring some se­ vere messages to His people, the Israel­ ites. Some preachers try to always please their listeners by saying nice, untruthful things, whether or not these things are God’s message to their church. Isaiah bravely spoke God’s mes­ sage even though his words greatly displeased the Israelites. Through Isaiah, God told His people that He would no longer accept their sacrifices and their burnt offerings nor hear their prayers because of their sin­ ful lives. God did not cast His people away because of their sins, however. Through His prophet, God told the people what they must do to have for­ giveness. “ Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isa. 1:16,17). Then God gives to the Israelites one of the most precious promises in His Word: “ Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18). God gave to His people a choice: if they obeyed Him, they would eat the good of the land. If they disobeyed Him, they would be killed by the sword. When you study the list of things that God told His people to do if they were sorry for their sins, you will see that doing good to others is a real part of our worship. True worship leads to kind and just treatment of others. T H E K I N G ' S , B U S I N E S S Helps for the Children True Ways to Worship God Isa. 1:10-29

Pointers on the Lesson The Scriptures selected for this week’s lesson stress the futility of mere re­ ligious ceremony. All the ritual in the world will avail nothing if the life is bent toward evil conduct. True religion is a matter of the heart; anything else is superficial. Isaiah’s View of the Matter Isa. 1:11-18 The opening verses of this section sound as if God were against the sacri­ ficial system which was in operation in Old Testament times, but that is not so. The sacrificial system, as well as the feasts and special days of those times, were established by God, and instituted for a definite purpose. But that purpose was not to provide something to take the place of a right heart attitude toward Him. These outward things pointed toward spiritual realities and aimed at blessing the spiritual lives of those taking part in them. Ultimately they all point to Christ, without whom no man can be fully blessed. Thus in no sense did God intend that outward ob­ servances should ever take the place of an inward transformation of the life. Let no one ever suppose that church membership, communion observance, at­ tendance at Lenten services, or water baptism, will please God unless first of all there is a heart that is right. Many today are trying to cover up a life that is not right with an outward garb of religion. That is what Israel was trying to do and God was displeased. He wants ,none of the outward observances until first the heart is cleansed by His blood. Jeremiah’s View of the Matter Jer. 7:3-7 The occasion of this Temple address was probably the observance of some feast within the precincts of the Tem­ ple. These people in Jerusalem seemed to have the idea that since they had repaired the Temple and restored its various services that that was all that was necessary. They could go on living in their sin. They were trusting in an earthly Temple. Piously they were say­ ing, “ The Temple of the Lord, the Tem-

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