Broken Altars

As I continue my study through the book of Amos, I have come to a very interesting point.  In Amos 3:13-15, one can see that judgment is proclaimed against Israel during these days for two things: false worship and materialism.  It is interesting to me that the temples that were set up in the northern kingdom during this time were to be much like the one in Jerusalem.  So why did the Lord proclaim judgment on Israel when they were trying to do things like they were done in Jerusalem?  As you study the Old Testament, you see that though they had tried to duplicate the temple in Jerusalem, their practices were anything but pleasing to the Lord.  They were using all sorts of pagan practices in trying to worship God instead of just following the simple instructions given to them by God.

This got me to thinking a little.  In our own lives, do we give the things that are supposed to be devoted to God to other things?  Do we try to concoct our own brand of worship to the Holy One?  Sometimes I think that we can make things so difficult in worship when God gave us a simple plan: seek His face and heart and follow His word.  Jesus told us to give to God what is properly His (Matthew 22:21).  What of God's are we giving to other things?