Amos 5 is a good example of a part of the Old Testament that often gets ignored by us because we find it uncomfortable. In these sections, God tells us that he hates the worship of the Jewish people because they are just going through the motions or because they do their religious duties and yet still take advantage of their fellow people. Read this section below and get a sense of how God felt about their worship of Him,
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!"
That's harsh! That hurts.
Imagine if God watched our worship service (He does) and then told us something similar. I mean ouch!
And yet, if we sing our songs of praise, give our offerings, preach our sermons, take communion...and yet do not love our brothers and sisters or take advantage of them...would God not still feel the same? God doesn't change. If he felt that way in the Old Testament then he still would today. And yes, our sin can be forgiven by Jesus...but shouldn't we seek justice? Shouldn't we seek righteousness? Shouldn't we hate what God hates and love what God loves?
Worship can be very good, but empty worship is nothing. Worship can be very good, but if our hearts are cold toward those in need, how can we worship the God who made those people?
So let justice roll like a river in our homes, in our town, in our community...let it roll in our hearts and then let us worship with the love of God knowing that we love like God!