Insincere worship (Isa 29:13-29:14)

“Yahweh said.

‘These people draw near

With their mouths.

They honor me

With their lips.

However their hearts

Are far from me.

Their worship of me is

A human commandment

Learned by rote.

So I will again do

Marvelous things

With this people,

I will again do

Shocking things.

I will again do

Amazing things.

The wisdom of their wise

Shall perish.

The discernment of their discerning

Shall be hidden’”

This oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah, centers on insincere worship. They adore the Lord with their mouths and lips, but their hearts are far away. They only praise the Lord because of human demands, as they recite rote prayers. However, Yahweh, the Lord, was going to do marvelous, amazing, and shocking things for his people. The wisdom of the wise would perish, while the discernment of the discerning was hidden.

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Discernment (Sir 36:23-36:25)

“The stomach

Will take any food.

Yet one food is

Better than another.

As the palate

Tastes the kinds of game,

So an intelligent mind

Detects false words.

A perverse mind

Will cause grief.

But a person

With experience

Will pay him back.”

Sirach points out that just as your taste buds can tell the difference between various kinds of food, so too the mind should be able to discern the difference between true and false words. Both the stomach and the mind can absorb all kinds of foods and words. However, just as one food is better for you than another, so too the perverse mind can cause grief. The experienced person will be able to verbally payback the false words and the perverse minds.