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Isaiah 1:10-17; Matthew 5:23-24

Isaiah 1:10-17; Matthew 5:23-24


I. God was unimpressed with the “so-called” worship of His people (1:11b): They had a lot of religion but not conduct that is in conformity with God’s standard

II. God was not pleased with their large number of sacrifices (1:11)

1. Contrast: The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the LORD
2. God calls their coming to the Temple disrespectful “trampling” of His courts (1:12)
3. God calls “meaningless offerings” “detestable incense” “evil assemblies” (1:13)

III. God was simply unhappy with a ritualistic religion (1:14-15)

IV. A worshipper must first understand what pleases God (1:11-15)

V. In verses 16-17, nine imperatives describe what pleases God

1. Wash yourselves
2. Make yourselves clean
3. Take your evil deeds out
4. Stop doing wrong
5. Learn to do right
6. Seek justice
7. Defend the oppressed
8. Take up the cause of the fatherless
9. Plead the case of the widow

VI. All nine of them are not related to the Temple, but they happen outside in daily life—what happens outside from Monday to Saturday

1. The people must go through an internal change—“wash yourselves” and “make yourselves clean” (1:16)
2. Those who are in power must treat justly the weak and vulnerable and take up the cause of the widows and fatherless (1:17)

VII. Proper worship and social conduct go hand in hand for those who desire to please God (1:17)

VIII. God is not saying “multitude of offerings” and “singing” are not worship, but they become meaningless if the worshipper does not treat justly the weak and vulnerable

IX. How one treats his/her spouse, domestic helpers, in-laws, co-workers, not caring for ailing mother or father, etc., have direct effect on their worship

X. God does regard one’s worship “meaningless” if the worshipper does not exhibit his reverence for God in his treatment of others—they will remain “trampling” the courts of God

XI. This is true when Jesus said: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

1. For Jesus, worship is not just a place of worship and offering
2. Right relationship with fellow human being precedes “place of worship” and “offering”
3. Jesus announces what pleases Him in Luke 4:18-19— to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to proclaim recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
4. Example of Onesimus and Philemon

XII. Take Away

Offer worship to God with what pleases Him

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at