They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. Matthew 15:9
Every nation on the earth has thousands of rules to govern how the people are governed. Regardless of how much some may like or dislike rules, people desire them, because they want to always know exactly what they can and cannot do.
As good as some rules may be, they are not able to completely change the heart of a person. People seek to find ways around the rules, or break them anyway, expecting to not get caught.
The Pharisees had come to Jesus about the disciples not following a traditional rule made by man, trying to appear righteous. Jesus said that their worship of God was in vain, because all they were doing was following man-made rules.
Every week people all over the world go to a church to worship God. On the surface it appears that they are being good Christians in worshipping God. However, many are going only because that is what a ‘good’ Christian does.
In the same way many believers, and churches, come up with many rules on what a person must do or not do. There can be rules on dress, appearance, political beliefs, and more governing what they do or don’t do. The heart of the people is in looking good to others, not in pleasing and worshipping God. When the heart is like that, worship is worthless to God and a waste of time.
True worship of God will seek to please God in every area of one’s life in gratefulness for what Jesus has done for the believer. His life becomes one of worship of God, not just following some rules of man. It will never be about pleasing others or looking good, but about worship of God from the heart.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek to please God with all of your life; that you will follow God’s ways over man’s; and that you will worship God from your heart with all of your life.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? Psalm 2:1
Wars and battles occur all the time, all over the world. Some are with physical weapons, while many are with just words. People are constantly plotting to overcome someone or something.
Groups of people can be found everywhere who are striving to win some agenda. They are focused on getting their way, regardless of what anyone else thinks or does. Most of these groups do it in a civilized manner, following the rules of the land, however, there are many that do not care about the laws. These groups often take the law into their own hand or try to overcome the government.
Some groups are small and raise a small squabble, but are so small they are no real threat to anyone. Others are a very large and powerful organization to be reckoned with.
The Psalmist opens this psalm with the question of why nations and people plot in vain. This is a good question to ask.
All over the world there are groups that are against God and Christianity. They hate Christians and plot against God with everything in them. They see Christians as a threat to their way of living and so need to strive to destroy them. They are just following Satan and his agenda.
There are also some believers who fight against God’s will for their lives. They refuse to do what He asks of them and try to run the other direction. This could be in any area of their life, minor or major.
Those who fight against God are fighting a losing war. In the end Jesus will win the war and all sin will be destroyed for eternity and all who refuse to follow Him. So it is pointless to fight against God. It is all in vain.
You may have some areas of life that you are refusing to give to God. So you are fighting against God. Trust God and give every area of your life to Him. He knows what is best and will win in the end.
In the end you will either be on His side or against Him. If you are against Him, you will lose and spend eternity in hell separated from God forever.
The best thing to do is follow God and all His commands. As you follow and trust in Jesus, you will win in the end. You may lose a battle, but the war has already been won.
I pray today that you will know the salvation that Jesus provides; that you will trust God with every area of your life; that you will not fight against God; and that your life will be a witness of God and His power.