Most of us when we think of piety we think of a priest or some other professional holy person. Perhaps strutting around performing some sort of ritual that no one else is qualified to carry out. Too many, it carries somewhat of a revolting hue, the one that thinks they are so much better than the average. When I think of this word I think of someone that, with the upmost pride and almost idolatrous precision adheres to a petty religious pattern that in the end is of no eternal value in itself. I realize that this is a twisted understanding of the true meaning but for some reason this week it’s been hard to shake this thought, Piety.
But may I be so bold as to say God abhors piety (this type, not the true definition). Isaiah spoke of this type of piety.
Is this such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the lord? Isaiah 58:5
Can’t you just hear the rotten distaste in God’s mouth, “Is this such a fast that I have chosen”. “Do you mean this is what you think I’ve asked you to do”? Before this he said:
Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinances of their God; they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Isaiah 58:2
This is a paradigm that seems to weave the pattern of God’s will. Isaiah goes on to say:
is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Isaiah 58:6-7
Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer. Thou shalt cry and He shall say here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and the speaking of vanity.
And if thou draw out thy soul to feed the hungry and to satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness be as noon day. Isaiah 58:9-10