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Worship and Justice are Joined Together

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Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing [them]. "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:14, 16-17 NKJV

What should you do before you approach God for worship? According to Isaiah, sin isn’t the only barrier between people and God. Actively supporting or ignoring injustice and oppression are serious matters in the eyes of God. In fact, injustice and suffering offend God to the point that He cannot tolerate the worship of such wayward people.

This is a process. Leaving sin behind may require some intentional time spent relearning what it looks like to live in faithful obedience. Turning away from sin or confronting injustice will take time and effort. Isaiah suggests that you can begin to look for the most vulnerable in your community, from the fatherless to the impoverished to the widows struggling to support themselves. While you may not have the resources on your own to help someone, you may be able to assist a relief group or church in their God-ordained work.

If you have a sense that God is distant or far removed during worship, this attention to justice and mercy may offer a helpful place to begin.

Prayer: Lord, help me see the needs around me and give me wisdom to respond in ways that are helpful and restorative for others.
 

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