Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Away with your noisy hymns of praise

When you start singing with a music ministry band again, even if it's only informal jam sessions, and you read the book of Amos it is humbling.

Amos is definitely not a pleasant Bible book to read, but Sunday I found myself reading from it:
I hate all your show and pretense — the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
(Amos 5:21-24 nlt)

You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David.
(Amos 6:5 nlt)

The interesting point this book highlights though is the reason God found their worship offensive was because their lifestyle didn't match their singing. It says "You care nothing about the ruin of your nation." (Amos 6:6)

It would seem to me the biggest sin these people were committing in God's eyes were in oppressing the poor and the needy. (Amos 4:1-2)

God is just not interested in our worship, our lip service, if we ignore hurting people around us, or worse, are the ones hurting them.

"Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living." (Amos 5:24)

Or as it says in Matthew 25...
For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.’
(Matthew 25:42-45 nlt)


fergus90 said...

Amazing. How far do we live apart? Yet, this is the exact book and chapter I've been mulling over for approximately one week. I have a parallel NIV and The Message. I think the part of this whole "tirade" that really speaks to me is on justice. There just isn't justice in this world. Look at dictatorships, the hungry, the poor. It really bothers me and Amos was my answer. We are so busy trying to build "kingdoms" that we forget what Jesus did when He was here. Healing, feeding, clothing. I am blown away that we are on the same track. Peace!

Karin said...

I am speechless.

Well, I can only say we agree, fergus90.

God loves people. Jesus loved people when He was on earth. That is what God wants - love people first, not your ministry, not your church, not yourself.

Mam said...

Ouch. I've tried two new churches recently, both of which are very very 'noisy'

I did wonder at the second one, I must admit, what we were all doing there. They were listening for God, praising, worshipping, but with the constant noise listening can be hard. But I don't want to slate the people there or accuse them of not worshipping or listening because who knows where anyone else is with God? But I did wonder. And yet there were deliverances there, but I wasn't really sure what they were about either. Maybe it just wasn't for me at this time.

The church we've just left after trying for six months then getting very frustrated didn't have a great deal of noise at all, in fatc deliberately unexciting hymns and just one at a time sung once, to make sure nobody could get carried away, but no listening to god silences either..definitely not, woulnd't want anyone to think they could actually hear him today!!

There needs to be a balance in a church I think. But as individuals we need to allow time during the week too, just to sit and listen in the quiet, and I'm rubbish at that. Thanks for the reminder, it's timely :-)

Karin said...

Hi Mam,

I agree about the finding silence to listen bit. God doesn't really care if the praise and worship is loud and noisy or quiet..only that it flows from a place of genuine love and adoration.

My focus here was more on the fact that people can have the loveliest worship, but don't care about their fellow human being. To God, that's the sin.

If we don't have love..