The Blurred Line – Part 5
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7
Under the old Law worship was strictly proscribed by God that it be done according to the pattern of things in Heaven.
“And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” Exodus 25:40
When God delivered Israel out of Egypt, it was important that the people be instructed in worship that was acceptable to God and that worship, as also did the covenants, pointed to the time of the Messiah and the pattern of worship in Heaven.
Worship under the Law n the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness was characterized by a series of ritual blood sacrifices and offerings, by ceremonial cleansings.
For the priesthood it also included attending the furnishings (the Golden Lampstand, The Altar of Incense and the Table of Shewbread) each one Holy and set apart exclusively for ministry to God in the Holy Place. Offerings of prayers and intercession were offered up to God for the people, and the High Priest received Words from God, prophetic messages for the people to direct them toward the fulfillment of His promises made in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The highest act of worship was done once a year by the High Priest on behalf of the people as he entered the Holy of Holies behind the veil to sprinkle the blood of a spotless lamb on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant to make atonement every year for the sins of the people.
Every detail of the Tabernacle and the way of worship in it were done to the exacting pattern of what God gave to Moses on the mountain. The Ten Commandments were a central part of those instructions.
“…who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’ ” Hebrews 8:5
“Now this workmanship of the lampstand was hammered gold; from its shaft to its flowers it was hammered work. According to the pattern which the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.” Numbers 8:4
Now despite the exacting detail of how worship was to be carried out God’s intent was not to create a nation of automatons who just mindlessly went about fulfilling rituals and mandates just to say they did it. God wanted their hearts to be fully engaged in recognizing the great gift that had been given to them and the unique relationship they had with God the Creator, above all nations on the earth.
They had a unique and exclusive relationship with God that placed them at the center of God’s plan of salvation for the whole world.
This nation whose total population at the time of His Covenants when they came out of Egypt was smaller than an average city in the United States today. Exodus 12:37 records that there were 600,000 men on foot not including women of all ages nor children under the age of 20 who came out of Egypt.
Most estimates suggest that the total population of the nation was around 2.5-3.5 million. But their total army would have been no more than 600,000. Numbers 1:45-46 records 603,550 over the age of 20 years who were able to fight.
The significance of these numbers is that the nations they came up against in the promised land, the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Canaanites, Amorites, Midianites and the men of Jericho, were all well established nations with trained armies of much greater numbers than Israel. Yet, because God was with them, they defeated the men of these nations one after another as long as they kept the Law and did what was right in the sight of God.
But, when they rebelled against God and failed to keep the Law, even a tiny nation could send them running in retreat. See the story of Israel’s defeat by Ai. Joshua 7-8
Now under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Grace) worship is still proscribed but it seems few know or understand it.
We know that God is to be worshipped but it seems each group has its own approach to what they will or will not do and too often the doctrinaire posturing of one group’s way over another has been the source of more division and strife in the body of Christ than worship acceptable to God. This we can say without reservation. God is seeking those who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
More to come