Isaiah 29

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Isaiah 29:13

 The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.

Observation – What does it say?

Isaiah, prophesying about Israel’s future, tells of a time that the Lord will make a declaration about the prophets, the learned and the teachers of his people. He will say that they are essentially hypocrites, play actors.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Hundreds of years after Isaiah penned it, Jesus quotes this verse. It is recorded in Matthew 15:8-9. He calls the Pharisees and teachers of the law hypocrites because they made a big show of doing the right things, but under the surface their hearts weren’t in it. They wanted to appear godly without really being godly and they valued their traditions over obeying God’s commands.

God isn’t pleased by mere lip service. He’s after our hearts.

It’s easy to say, “I’m a Christian.” Or, “I love God.” Or, “I’ve chosen to follow Jesus.” But does God really have our hearts?

Life Application

Ask God to cleanse my heart and reveal to me any areas I’ve been offering mere lip service.

God, forgive me for the times I sing about surrendering all to you on Sundays and then make selfish decisions throughout the week. Forgive me for the times I’ve allowed myself to just go through the motions in ministry and have done things for the wrong reasons. Forgive me for the times I have valued the praise of people more than your approval. God, please keep us from being like the Pharisees. Give us hearts that are close to you, hearts that genuinely love you and long to please you above anything or anyone else! You are worthy of our whole lives, of all of our worship, our desire, and our affection. Amen.