1 I allowed myself to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that did not call on my name. 2 I stretched out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk on a road that is not good, following their own plans; 3 a people who aggravate me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and offering incense on bricks; 4 who sit inside tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine’s flesh, with a stew of repulsive things in their spoons; 5 who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.” These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns me all day.
The LORD speaks of his relationship with his people here, and it is not a happy relationship. He has made his presence known to them, saying “Here I am, here I am,” and they pretended to acknowledge his existence. But the things that they chose to do told a different story.
- First, they rejected the road he had prescribed for them to travel, choosing their own plans, not those laid out in his covenant.
- Next, they deliberately flirted with the nations around them, taking up their secret religious magic practices, which aggravated and irritated the LORD.
- They even adopted some of the cultural and ethnic practices, like eating the food which was not acceptable for a Jew under the covenant. This was a deliberate choice which was a consistent irritation to God.
- All the while, they pretended to be a holy, separated people, and prided themselves on being different that the nations around them. This aggravated God for two reasons: it was hypocrisy, because they had stopped being so much different that these people when they chose their own road, and it served to prevent these other nations from seeing God and seeking after him as well.
Look at your lifestyle. Is it pleasing to your maker, or aggravating to him? You say that you have repented, but has it resulted in a life that your LORD would be pleased with? Reform, don’t hide behind a name, and keep living like a pagan! Such a lifestyle is hypocrisy, and it irritates God.
LORD, forgive us for taking our own road, living like those around us who have no relationship with you, and pretending to be holy when we are not. Show us how to reflect your righteousness, so that we draw others to you, and stop aggravating you.