A great post from Ben Bartosik. Click the link to read the complete post.
I honestly think many Christians today can relate in this. These people recognize an emptiness to their worship practices. They’re doing everything they’ve been taught to do and seem to be doing it with a heart that seeks God’s presence. Their sin is not their lack of desire for God; yet God is not answering. God is not blessing their worship.
“Is such the fast I desire, a day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush and lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, a day when the LORD is favorable?” (5)
God is calling them out on something that I believe is incredibly relevant for us today: their belief that these religious observances and rituals actually impress God and demonstrate true covenantal obedience. There seems to be a hypocrisy going on that God is about to reveal. However, we fool ourselves if we think that this passage is speaking to insincere hearts. Remember, their hearts seemed to be in the right place, it’s the action that God is unfavourable towards here.