Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet, for bitter. Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
This is a condemnation upon those that get things backwards. The thought I will pursue here is; God does not accept everything man thinks He ought to accept. God has set forth the principles that He wants us to observe. God does not say a negative – no on everything man can dream up but gives us principles to abide by that is a guide line for us. For example – the Bible does not say a thing about street drugs yet not one preacher or church member would say it is okay to consume these drugs. This a principle that God has established.
When we get to the worship that is God’s, everything goes out the window. God established with Moses and Israel what was accepted. Isaiah 9:6 – Moses said to Israel, “This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do:” and in their obedience, “and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you.” Isaiah 9:23 “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.
24. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
What God proscribes, He accepts. Isaiah 10:1 we see what was unacceptable to God. “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded then not.” No doubt they had the attitude that people have today – I am doing this for the Lord so He should accept it. God has never said He would accept as worship what we decide He should accept. My belief is the Old Testament has laid out an example of the attitude we should have and the method we should use.
Where does self-will in worship take us? How about the tele-evangelist that says GIVE GOD A HAND! Well the solemness of worship has already been disrupted with the clapping for individual performance so why not clap for God, He deserves it. God deserves everything and all of us. Exodus 19:5 God speaking to Israel “if ye will obey my voice,” and this is a recurring theme throughout the Old Testament. I Samuel 15:22 Samuel said to the people “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” The result of disobedience was death to Nadab and Abihu. Israel disobeyed many times and were punished many different ways for this disobedience. Even Peter in Acts 5:29 makes a statement about obedience – Then Peter and the other apostles answered an said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Where is the line of demarcation between acceptable worship and unacceptable worship. I don’t know and I haven’t found anyone else that really knows. Wouldn’t it be terrible to stand before the Lord and hear, “my child, when did you worship me? Those were not the principles of worship that I gave you. You were not worshipping me, you were doing things of the world that pleased You.”
I have no desire to be in that position. I have enough to answer for. My neglect in evangelism. My hard heartedness and other things.