Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel and who came forth from the loins of Judah, who swear by the name of the Lord and invoke the God of Israel, but not in truth nor in righteousness. – Isaiah 48:1
In the first verse of Isaiah 48 the prophet gives a one-sentence commentary on the weakened spiritual state of Israel. Simply put, the sickness that invaded the national soul was hypocrisy. Though they claimed a covenant relationship with God and even took their oaths in His holy name (YHWH), they lacked a living testimony of His truth and righteousness.
At least ancient Israel, lacking the internal power to overcome, had a shred of an excuse. What about those who claim to know the Messiah, yet bear no resemblance to Him? What about my own behavior (at times) in the presence of an indwelling Holy Spirit?
Jesus spoke in judgment of those who called Him, “Lord,” but consistently neglected His Father’s will. May we all carefully and diligently work against hypocritical pretense before an all-seeing and all-knowing God. Frailty is human. The flesh is weak. Humility, not pride, should be our first response. Those who claim to worship Christ Jesus must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes a-begging. – Martin Luther