19 December, 2014

Autonomous Worship Condemned

"And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the 
valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters 
in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into 
my heart" (Jer. 7:31; see also, Jer. 19:5).

The Lord condemns the children of Judah's idolatry and pagan worship 
with the statement, "which I commanded them not, neither came 
it into my heart." Idolatry, murder and child sacrifice are explicitly 
condemned in the law and the prophets. Yet, Jeremiah cuts to the essence 
of idolatrous worship. Judah was worshipping in a manner that did 
not originate from God's heart. Judah's worship was not founded upon 
God's command. Rather than worshipping God according to His command, 
they "walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil 
heart, and went backward, and not forward" (Jer. 7:24). If the 
people of Judah had consulted the Word of God and obeyed it, they 
would have been spared God's fury. "We have to do with a God who 
is very jealous; who will be worshipped as He wills, or not at all. 
Nor can we complain. If God be such a Being as we are taught in the 
Holy Scripture, it must be His inalienable right to determine and 
prescribe how He will be served."10 

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