Don’t give me no lip!
These people honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
We live in a destination place where folks return year after year for vacation. One family we had met told us they have been coming to Emerald Isle for subsequent generations. What began many years ago as a first time visit eventually turned into a family tradition.
Traditions typically involve passing on some custom, practice, or belief. God provided Israel with many traditions to follow as part of his law and sacrificial system. But what was intended for good, man used them to invalidate, cover up, hide behind, or negate the Word of God. Take a look at the Pharisees. They taught and practiced traditions that they elevated to the level of God’s Word which allowed them to actually ignore Scripture all together.
Jesus called them out! Then he gave them an example. The Old Testament gives the Israelites 10 commandments to follow. One of the commandments instructs God’s people to honor your father and mother. If you were caught not obeying the commandment you were sentenced to death. But the Pharisees had a tradition that we will say gave them a “get out of jail” card. If a gift was committed to the temple they could bypass caring for their elderly parents. Basically they were telling the people if you give to God, you don’t have to provide financial assistance to your parents. Their tradition invalidated God’s Word.
Hypocrites! Jesus called it like it was and he knew they were false teachers pretending to be something they were not. He had zero tolerance for lip service and people who worshipped in vain. When we replace God’s Word with our own traditions and interpretations, we’re wasting our time when we pray and worship on Sunday.