Honor God, NOT Man
Category : General
Isaiah 29:13 (KJV)
13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
The flippant references about God and lack of respect for authority that are rampant in our culture reflect the primal sin of not giving honor to the Creator. Unfortunately, even those of us in the church are not entirely guiltless when it comes to these sins. We must therefore seek to use the name of the Lord honorably at all times and show the proper deference to our leaders in both the tone of our speech and our deeds.—Anonymous.
This paragraph registers still further complaints against Israel. Their religion is not sincere. He shows that the people have deserved this punishment chiefly on account of their hypocrisy and superstitions. When he says that “they draw near with the mouth and the lips,” he describes their hypocrisy. Sure, they still sing the old songs and repeat the terminology of worshiping God; but their hearts are simply not in it at all. One cannot avoid the fear that today there must be some worship of God that falls into the pattern of what is condemned here. “Their religion had become a mere formality.” Jesus Christ reiterated the thought here in Mark 7:6,7.
As is pointed out, it is sufficiently evident, that those who learn from “the inventions of men” how they should worship God, not only are manifestly foolish, but wear themselves out by destructive toil, because they do nothing else than provoke God’s anger; for he could not testify more plainly than by the tremendous severity of this chastisement, how great is the abhorrence with which he regards false worship. The flesh reckons it to be improper that God should not only reckon as worthless, but even punish severely, the efforts of those who, through ignorance and error, weary themselves in attempts to appease God; but we ought not to wonder if he thus maintains his authority. Christ himself explains this passage, saying, “In vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines, and the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9.)
We are to study Jesus Christ “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.” We are to copy his example, not only in its dignity and power and lustre, but in its condescension, humility, gentleness, tearfulness, and infinite kindness. There is a way of administering reproach which misses its very object; there is a way of speaking the right word which turns it, for all practical purposes, into the wrong word. Song of Solomon, then, it must be to Christ we come, and in Christ’s school we study. Lord, help us to speak from the height of thy Cross! Knowing the mystery of love in thy love, may our lips say the right word in the right way, and thus save souls from death and turn many to righteousness!
We need to remember that we live to do His will, and to promote His glory. This is the grand purpose of the life of the Christian. Other people live to gratify themselves; the Christian to do those things which the Lord requires. In Romans 14: 9 we see the phrase “the Lord”. Here the apostle evidently intends the Lord Jesus; and the truth taught here is, that it is the leading and grand purpose of the Christian to do honor to the Savior. It is this which constitutes His special character, and which distinguishes Him from other people. It is not too difficult to see how the lack of honor for the Creator leads to other sins. After all, human beings are made to worship, and we cannot help but honor someone or something. If our honor is not directed to the Lord who made all that exists, then it is going to be directed to something else. This makes us guilty of idolatry.
Have a great and godly day!