February 19 – Today’s Readings – Leviticus 7-9 and Pslams 49
Leviticus 9:22-24 reads, “Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down. Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.”
As I was reading about the offerings for sin, guilt and fellowship in Leviticus, I began to get a picture of all Jesus did for us on the cross and how SERIOUS a sacrifice it was. We sing about the cross and speak of it in familiar terms, but when you think of all that these people in Leviticus went through just to feel right with God momentarily – it is cause for SOBER meditation. God obviously took all their efforts very seriously as well because He responded to them with great power. There is a sense of enormous respect in these verses – these people knew God was mighty, holy, just and fierce. They also knew Him as their Saviour from captivity.
We know God as Father. We come to Him in a relaxed and comfortable way, knowing that we have been made right with God and that we are sons and daughters, adopted by Him. Is it possible that we lack some of the respect that these old covenant people felt as they followed this Holy God? We have a new and living way to enter God’s presence, but this does not mean we should ever be sloppy or lazy in our attitude and passion for The Lord. I think we should instead be far more zealous in our worship, knowing the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Just suppose all of us showed up to Church one Sunday morning, robed in righteousness and praise, having been anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit – then, with one accord, we entered into corporate worship, giving God our very best – I wonder what would happen? I have a hunch that the experience would be much greater than we expected! I have a feeling that God could simply not resist our unified, sincere, heart-felt worship. I have become convinced that there is no great secret to revival – if we have unity in our desire for Him – if we invest the time, He will honour the fervent prayer of a righteous Church. I believe this is the kind of expectation the people had in the book of Acts when thousands were added to the church – and I believe that it is ours for the having today.
1. How do you think we could be more respectful of God’s presence without losing the joy of expression in worship?
2. What would it take for you to be more prepared to enter God’s presence in corporate worship?Th