In Bible Study Fellowship today, in the study of Isaiah 58-59, I had an insight.

Religious activities – fasting, praying and keeping the Sabbath were the context in Isaiah, can be a cover for the sins that we need to deal with in our heart.

“Religious people” run the risk of thinking that they are good enough, and fail to see the “respectable sins” of the heart.

Let’s say I am very involved in my church, teach Sunday School, go to prayer meeting, etc. It would be reasonable for me to think I am pleasing God. What if my church involvement makes me THINK I am pious such that if I have no concern for the poor, I don’t feel convicted. After all, I’m a “good” Christian, so not helping the poor doesn’t have to be a priority. I do enough as it is, I can’t be expected to help the poor too. Someone else can do that.

God won’t hear our religious prayers, if we don’t care about things that really count.

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