Recently I was asked the following question: “We are in a different time, yes, we serve the same God. However if our worship is sincere, yet strays from the old days, is that somehow less pleasing before God? I think not!” How would you answer this question? We do live in “a different time,” but couldn’t that be said of every generation? The people of David’s generation lived “in a different time” than Moses. And the people of Jesus’ day lived in “a different time” than David. Sincerity in worship is no doubt required of all generations (Joshua 24:14). So that leaves us with the question, what about those who stray from God’s prescribed form of worship?
Stray. The word sounds almost innocent, doesn’t it? “He went astray…he didn’t intend to, he just strayed!” But why do men stray? “Stop listening to instruction… and you will stray from the words of knowledge” (Proverbs 19:27). Israel stopped listening to the word of God, strayed into idol worship, and was “destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). And Psalm 119:118 says, “You (God) reject all who stray from your decrees…” Does “all” include people of modern times or was that just for David’s generation? God’s word is “eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” and will “judge [us] according to what [we] have done…” on the Judgment Day (Psalm 119:89; Revelation 20:12).
Be sincere and don’t stray, for God desires that men “serve Him in sincerity and in truth” (Joshua 24:14). And God will reject those who stray from the truth even though they are sincere. – Alton Norman, Owingsville, KY