You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it,” says the Lord of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” says the Lord. (Malachi 1:13)
Worship Is Weariness
The longsuffering of God is one of the most remarkable attributes of the heavenly Father man can try to grasp and understand. Throughout the centuries of man’s attempt to worship Him, the Lord has seen His fair share of feeble attempts by bored hearts to worship Him in spirit and truth. When the children of Israel returned from a seventy year bondage as punishment for the rebellion of their fathers, they rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem and returned to worship as prescribed in the Law of Moses. However, the spirit of their worship was less than ideal and had become something of a weariness as they trudged through the five acts of worship required to have their ticket punched for being a righteous follower of God. Worship done, things done, songs sung, sacrifices made, offerings given and back to their lives of materialism, entertainment and jobs. They will be back the following week to do the same boring things unless something like a ball game, vacation, movie, concert, job or a slight headache will hinder them from gathering with the people of God to do that thing … what is it called .. oh yes: worship in spirit and truth. This is what they do year after year and week after week. The same songs, the same prayers and the same boring sermon that is always twenty minutes too long for a thirty minute endurance test and I have to leave early because I have a reservation at the steak house with friends or a party to go to or my job that runs my life so much that I have little time to worship the Lord God Almighty. Oh what a weariness. What does God expect of me? How can I get my life done when He demands so much of my time? I don’t feel like that whole Sunday night thing because it will mean cutting short the time I get to work in my yard or that shopping trip planned for Sunday afternoon or the leisure stroll on the beach. And why should I meet with the saints on Wednesday night to study some old crusty worn out book that means so little to me when I have so many things to do.
Life is very busy and trying to find time to make those sacrifices is asking too much. My job is a hassle and the kids have the flu and there is so much to do I do not have time to spend in worship to the Lord. Besides, it is too far to drive. What does the Lord expect of me? I have a car or truck that comes with power steering, air-conditioning, cruise control, soft seats and a great radio and for God to expect me to drive very far to worship is asking too much. I may drive fifty miles to shop but worship is not shopping. When it rains I might get wet when I get out of my car (but thankfully I don’t live in the horse and buggy days or walk to church in the rain). Worship is such drudgery. Oh what a weariness. I will not miss a day of work but missing church services is okay and the Lord expects more of me? In what way have I despised His name? I give him the best of my leftovers and there are always plenty of my leftovers to give to God. Does He expect me to give Him my best? Isn’t that asking a lot out of me, Lord? How have we defiled you, Lord? In what way have we wearied you, Lord? I do not understand why the Lord does see how difficult it is to worship Him.
When the children of Israel first entered the land of Canaan, the Lord warned them of becoming too comfortable in their surroundings. He told them that when life became so good and they turned their hearts away from Him that He would visit them and remind them of their folly. Returning from bondage, the people again began to worship God with a spirit of apathy. Their sacrifices were as lame and broken as their hearts were. It is easy to fall prey to the rituals of worship of gathering each Sunday and do the same things in the same way under the same umbrella of weary worship wondering why a person is doing what they are doing but doing them because they must go through the motions to make it look good for someone to see how religious they are. When God looks down His heart breaks to see His people worship in a spirit of weariness and apathy. It is so hard to suffer the persecution of worship in this country. We have it so difficult and demanding. May God send His army of true warriors to awaken the sleeping souls of those who find such weariness in their worship of the one true God.