And the Lord said:
"Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
therefore, behold, I will again
do wonderful things with this people,
with wonder upon wonder;
and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden."
"Their fear of me is a commandment taught by men" really gets to me because that has been the point of religious teaching for so long.
"Fear The Lord, repent!" Was something Jesus preached sometimes, but not with as much emphasis on fear as much as He emphasized a salvation. I’m thinking of Jonathan Edwards through to modern college campus street preachers. I’m thinking of the holiness movement and legalism and people that don’t cuss around preachers.
Wisdom and discernment will leave us if we are not sincere on the inside about what we profess and teach on the outside. If our relationship with God is done by rules, He Himself will lead us away from that so that we’ll hopefully meet the real God. If our reverence, honor, piety, etc. are activities that are measurable, calculated, and choreographed, He will confound us to abandon that and follow Him. We can trust in that.