When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:15-17 ESV)
Isaiah writes to convict Israel of abandoning God. Earlier in the chapter Isaiah expresses it creatively, “the donkey knows it’s master but Israel does not know.” It is an interesting assessment given how regular Israel is with her attendance in worship. They participate in all of the worship services and are regular with offerings and prayers. Even so, the Lord won’t accept it because their “hands are full of blood.”
They have lived for themselves and ignored the needs of others. They have closed an eye to the fatherless and the widow in their needs. They were “religious” only on Sundays, as it were.
Lord, would you give us daily lives that reflect the confessions that we make on Sundays, and give us hearts that are truly concerned for the needs of your people.