Isaiah 1: 10-15. “Hear the Word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom: give ear unto the Law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand to tread My courts? Bring no more vain oblations: incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with: it is iniquity, even the solemn meetings. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me: I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear:y our hands are full of blood.”
Isaiah had to know that the words he was given by God would not make him popular. I think that those who were faithful prophets were men of great courage, then and now.
Of particular disgust to God was the appearance of piety and godliness that overlaid the behavior of His people. There was an overlay of religion that failed to cover the things that God said were an abomination to Him. It was that hypocrisy that offended Him most of all.
The people were keeping certain elements of the Law. They were observing feasts and sacrifices, and burning their incense, but their hearts were very far away from the truth and the holiness of God. The conscience of God’s people, then and now, can become so seared that they can practice religion while living in sin, and feel no remorse.
When God says He will turn His eyes away from hands lifted up to Him because those hands are of full of blood, He is not talking only about actual murder. The word blood is plural here, and points not only to murder but to acts of violence similar to murder, and to bribes which purchased the ruin of widows and orphans (Micah 3:9-11).
God is not fooled by an appearance of godliness. He sees the heart. He sees our hearts. The appearance of obedience is meaningless when it comes from a heart of duplicity.