As it turned out, all the time these people were putting on a front of worshiping God, they were at the same time involved with their local idols. And they're still doing it. Like father, like son. 2 Kings 17:41 (MSG)
We have an elliptical exercise machine in our basement. I don't use it as often as I should, but it does allow me to get my body moving. It's especially useful in the winter months when walking outside isn't very comfortable. While the elliptical machine, and treadmills like it, provide a healthy purpose and good exercise, I personally struggle to get on it. Even with a television to watch or a magazine to read, I hate the feeling of moving but not getting anywhere.
I thought of our elliptical machine this morning as I read about the people of Israel in today's chapter. They were going through the motions of spiritual activity, but they weren't getting anywhere. It was all show. There was no change of heart. There was no spiritual progress that radiated out into a change of behavior. They were spiritually running in place.
In worship yesterday, we were reminded that this season of Lent is meant as a time of self-inspection and examination. Today, I'm looking back at where I've been, I'm examining where I'm at, and I'm peering ahead at where I'm headed. I'm asking myself if my journey with God is propelling me forward in a meaningful and substantial way, or if my spiritual exercise is simply wasted motion on a spiritual treadmill.