God expects authentic worship.
(v9b) If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; (10a) And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul;
In today’s text we see more behaviors in keeping with authentic worship. These behaviors are expressed as conditions that will bring about certain results. Notice these behaviors that God expects:
“If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity…”
The “yoke” here speaks to an expression of oppression. “Putting forth of the finger” is less clear but may allude to the body language that comes when people fight, mock, or scoff. To speak vanity is to say things that are either untrue, unhelpful, or even sinful. When put into context regarding our attitude and actions toward those around, we see that God’s desire is for people that worship him to get rid of systems and behaviors that truly oppress and victimize.
“and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul…”
The expression here “draw out thy soul” speaks to not just helping people for the sake of appeasing your conscience or helping out of sheer duty. God’s desire is there to be a genuine love that motivates our helping those who are in need and afflicted. It is not enough to just hope that needs are met, we must do what we can to see that needs are met. Authentic Worship will lead to good works. James said it this way:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.James 2:14-17
What authenticates a person’s claim to faith and authentic worship is a life that exhibits what they say they believe. Our walk must match our talk. If we love God, then we will love what He loves. This means we will love others and want what is best for them.
Is there someone you can help genuinely and wisely help in a tangible way today?