A while back, a friend of mine invited me to go to our favorite bookstore and to see his new home. When I arrived, he took me on a tour of his new house. As we were going into the last room, he reached under the bed and pulled out a large hand made chest board. Inside the board, were the chess pieces, also hand carved. He said, "This is for you. No one comes to visit the new house without getting a gift." What is interesting is that my friend plays chess, while I just collect chess sets.
What a dope I was... I came to see the new home of my friend and didn't bring a house warming gift! Instead I got a present! I was grateful and ashamed all at the same time.
How many times do we come to worship empty handed? We come into God presence with nothing and leave with a blessing made especially for us.
Israel was doing much the same thing. God is speaking through the prophet Isaiah to his people about their worship practices or should we say their lack of them. Let's be fair, Israel was bringing something before God. But is it the kind of "gift" you bring to a house warming?
Are we bringing the same thing to worship or are we just coming empty handed?
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