Isaiah 66:3–4 3 “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; 4 I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.”
Professing Christians, both inside and outside the church, who are intent on doing what they want to do, rather than falling in line with biblical truth, will not come away unscathed. They will experience the fury and fire of God’s judgment (Cf. 66:15-16).
The Lord’s condemnation comes through loud and clear in Isaiah 66. Slaughtering an ox, sacrificing a lamb, presenting a grain offering and making a memorial offering of frankincense are important expressions of worship in the Old Covenant. The New Covenant correlations are going to church, giving an offering, singing worship songs, attending Bible studies, reading the Bible and praying in the New Covenant. But when religious activity is the fruit of a duplicitous heart, pretending to be holy is reprehensible before God.
People who put on impressive religious performances, while choosing to obey some truths and disobey others, are in serious trouble with God and don’t realize a perilous end is coming. The word of truth and the warnings of caring brothers and sisters in Christ go unheeded and self-righteously rejected. All the while such unfaithful people are storing up for themselves overwhelming punishment on the day of reckoning.
The hope and prayer are that people will pay attention to the truths of Scripture and the warnings of fellow followers of Jesus. What needs to happen is stated in Isaiah 66:2, when the Lord says, “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Sadly, few people respond to truthful admonition with teachable and pliable hearts. Praise God, some do! Which one are you?