Sharing these passages, the theme I have in mind is that of God calling people closer to Him at the heart level:
11 “What are all your sacrifices to Me?”
asks the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams
and the fat of well-fed cattle;
I have no desire for the blood of bulls,
lambs, or male goats.
12 When you come to appear before Me,
who requires this from you—
this trampling of My courts?
13 Stop bringing useless offerings.
Your incense is detestable to Me.
New Moons and Sabbaths,
and the calling of solemn assemblies—
I cannot stand iniquity with a festival.
14 I hate your New Moons and prescribed festivals.
They have become a burden to Me;
I am tired of putting up with them.
15 When you lift up your hands in prayer,
I will refuse to look at you;
even if you offer countless prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood.
16 “Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves.
Remove your evil deeds from My sight.
Stop doing evil.
17 Learn to do what is good.
Correct the oppressor.[e]
Defend the rights of the fatherless.
Plead the widow’s cause.
5 But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple”— 6 he does not have to honor his father.’[e] In this way, you have revoked God’s word[f] because of your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:
21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors,[e]Do not murder,[f]and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother[g] will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’[h] will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire.[i] 23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, the judge to[j] the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 I assure you: You will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny![k]
2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you[b] and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
Other relevant posts from the blog: