My favorite dessert is Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake. Suppose one of my friends had a birthday coming up and I decided to make (more likely, buy) that very cake for the party, reasoning that if I like it, my friend will too.
Imagine a few days before the party, I learned my friend is allergic to raspberries, hates chocolate, and is lactose intolerant! Yet instead of switching to another dessert, I gave it to him anyway! I’d be the biggest jerk in the world!
Nobody in their right mind would do that. Ironically, however, many people do—in a spiritual sense.
Many churches totally ignore God’s revealed pattern of congregational worship and make up their own methods of worship. The thinking is, “We like worshiping God this way, therefore God will surely like it too.” This was Israel’s mindset during the Judges period. “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes”
During this time, Israel’s worship was a mockery. Their only guide was their imagination. As long as their worship was partly true, they were satisfied.
For example, in Judges 17 and 18 an Israelite named Micah made an ephod and a graven image and consecrated his son to be his personal priest. They mixed idolatry with a perverted form of worship to Jehovah. Later on, Micah hired a Levite named Jonathan to be his new priest in his son’s place. Eventually, Jonathan became the priest of the entire tribe of Dan and aided the Danites in their worship of Micah’s graven image (which they stole).
The Israelites were giving God Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake. They had no interest in the Lord’s desires, only their own. They wanted tasty religion, not true religion.
They wanted tasty religion, not true religion.
Unfortunately, the religious landscape today isn’t much different than it was back then. Self-appointed priests, worship of images, corruption, greed, sanctioned immorality—all of that and more is rampant among many churches that claim to serve God. It seems clear from Scripture that God is absolutely disgusted with that kind of worship.
Jesus said of the Pharisees, “They worship Me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules” (Matthew 15:9). Solomon warned, “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).
Let’s be careful to offer to God the exact worship prescribed in His Word, regardless of what we might prefer! Our ultimate desire must be to please Him, not ourselves.
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