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What the Bible says about Worshipping Self
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Psalm 10:4

This is of major concern because the first commandment is the most important. It lays the foundation for all that follow. If the source of a person's values is not of the very highest order, he sets himself up for certain moral and spiritual failure. No other source can even begin to compare to Almighty God.

The last phrase of this verse does not mean the "wicked" man is an atheist. In fact, He may be a nominally religious person. However, while undoubtedly considering himself realistic, he has such a low regard for God that he does not consider Him as he makes his choices in life. God plays no major role in his life, and he may even purposefully avoid Him. To him, God is not dead, but He is nonetheless an inconvenience brought into play only in times of extreme stress. He has essentially chosen to live without Him, and thus he is effectively worshipping himself. This description likely fits a high percentage of Americans.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The First Commandment

Isaiah 1:13-15

The context gives no indication that the Israelites were not observing the Sabbath on the seventh day. Rather, their attitude and way they were observing it contrasted with God's desire. Carnally, man feels free to worship God as he good and well pleases. These attitudes, as well as the practices, break the second commandment.

This passage parallels Amos 5:21-27, which was preached about the same time as Isaiah 1:13-15. Both show crowds in a festive attitude, yet God rejects their "worship" as worthless. Their "holiness" was a sham because it was not backed by righteous conduct in their daily lives. The spirit behind their worship was wrong. Their futile sacrifices indicate their hypocrisies: These people had the morals of alley cats; eyes hot with lust and greed; and fortunes built on crime, envy, murder, and deceit. In reality, they were stingy, hateful gossipers who on the Sabbath appeared before God as if everything was okay.

What kind of a god would accept the conduct that the Israelites exhibited? Certainly not the true God! They were going through the motions of punctilious observance, but their hearts were elsewhere, as their daily conduct showed. God is more concerned about right relationships between people than an overly scrupulous regard for formal worship on the Sabbath. Worship cannot be separated from the character and attitudes displayed in daily life. It is a person's reaction to God all through the week, not just on the Sabbath, that matters. We cannot mock God and somehow believe that we will get away with it.

In Isaiah 2:5-18, God testifies of a culture immersed in all sorts of idolatry. He sees a people enslaved by the superstition of astrology—they do not seek God's judgment, but they will seek and do what the omens read! Their material success has produced a self-confidence that deceives them into believing that God is unnecessary. This chapter reveals what resides at the foundation of much idolatry—pride, as expressed in the phrases, "The lofty looks of man" and the "haughtiness of men." Pride drives mankind to resist God, so they will not submit to the way He wants our response—our worship—done.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Second Commandment


 




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