Isaiah 58:2

2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.

Read Isaiah 58:2 Using Other Translations

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.
Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.

What does Isaiah 58:2 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 58:2

Yet they seek me daily
Which may be considered as an acknowledgment of their external piety; or as a caution to the prophet not to be imposed upon by outward appearances; or as a reason why they should be rebuked sharply: they sought the Lord, either by prayer, or in the ministry of the word; they sought doctrine, as the Targum; they sought him, and that every day, or, however, every Lord's day; and yet they did not seek him with that diligence and intenseness of spirit, with their whole hearts, cordially and sincerely, as they ought to have done; they sought themselves, and the honour of men, rather than the Lord and his glory: and delight to know my ways;
not only his ways of creation and providence, but of grace; and also the ways which he prescribes and directs his people to walk in; not that they had a real delight in them, or in the knowledge of them, or such a delight as truly gracious souls have when they have the presence of God in them; are assisted by his Spirit; have their hearts enlarged with his love; find food for their souls, and have fellowship with the saints; but this delight was only seeming, and at most only in the knowledge and theory of these ways, but not in the practice of them; see ( Ezekiel 33:31 Ezekiel 33:32 ) : as a nation that did righteousness:
in general appeared to be outwardly righteous; had a form of godliness, and name to live, and yet dead, and so destitute of any works of true righteousness, at best only going about to establish a righteousness of their own: and forsook not the ordinance of their God;
the ordinance of assembling together in general; any of the ordinances of God in particular; hearing, reading, singing, praying, especially the ordinance of the supper, constantly attended to by them; see ( Luke 13:26 ) : they ask of me the ordinances of justice;
not of justice between man and man, but of righteousness and religion with respect to God; they ask what are the ordinances of the Gospel, and the rules of worship and discipline, and whether there are any they are ignorant of; suggesting they were desirous of being instructed in them, and of complying with them: they take delight in approaching to God;
there is no right approaching God but through Christ, and gracious souls take a real delight in this way; but the approaching here is only in an external manner, by the performance of outward duties; and the delight is not in God, and communion with him; but in the service, performed as a work of their own, in which they trust, and in what they expect as the reward of it.

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