God had had it! He was very clearly using Isaiah to tell the people of Judah that he did not need any more bull or lambs’ blood. He needed His chosen people to truly be sorry for their sinful lives and begin to turn their attitudes and heart back to Him. From God’s view, the children of Israel would present each sacrifice with a, “Sorry–Not Sorry!” God was clear–“Not a fan of animal blood, I am a fan of repentant people.”
The problem Isaiah was trying to express was simply that sacrifices were not a get out of jail free card. Sacrifices were acts to atone for the guilt we have from our sin. Sorry–not sorry does not express the true attitude of a repentant heart that a father looks for from an errant child. So, in effect, God used Isaiah to tell the people–save your beef. Save your lamb. Have a cookout! I want to see different hearts and attitudes. I want us to be able to talk about sin and its devastation using our heads and our hearts–not excuses.
Nothing has changed. We receive Christ and that begins a relationship and journey that leads us to become eternal minded and God focused. Praying the prayer, is no more a get out of jail free card than were the rams and bulls of old. All the Lord has ever really wanted was a repentant heart and desire to follow Him. Without that, no amount of church attendance or “Sorry-Not Sorry” prayers will change our hearts. As with Judah, God wants us to seek him. He longs to be in relationship.
He especially longs to be in a genuine relationship with his kids. In short, God says keep it real.
God Bless You
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
12 “When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
18 “Come now, let us reason[c] together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”