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What is your best memory of worshiping God?
The experience of receiving the Ten Commandments from God was an exceptional event for the people of Israel. It was a worship service to be remembered.
Moses returned from the mountain the day before the epic worship service. He was so excited, he gave the people a quick once through of God’s Law. The people listened and then responded: “We will do everything the Lord has commanded!”
Moses then returned to his tent and wrote everything God had told him on the mountain.
The next day was all about worship. Moses prepared for the event by building an altar for sacrifices and 12 stone pillars around it as silent witnesses symbolically representing the commitment of the 12 tribes to the sacrifices made. Then he chose young men to make the sacrifices for the day’s festivities - first born sons from each tribe, as there was not yet a defined priesthood.
There were two types of offerings made on that day of worship.
First, they made burnt offerings. These were for the forgiveness of sin. The animals represented the people of Israel. The sins of the people were placed on the beasts and then they were slaughtered, skinned and burnt. Every bit of flesh was consumed by the flames on the altar. The day started with forgiveness - nothing remained between God and His people. All forgiven.
Second, they made fellowship offerings. These animals were slaughtered, skinned and roasted - to be eaten by every worshiper. Moses took the blood from this offering and sprinkled half of it on the altar. The other half he poured into the basins. The people knew this was a time of togetherness - Man and God - forgiving, feasting and celebrating being one people with one God - in unity.
Once the sacrifices were consumed, Moses began to read - all that he had written from his time with God. The people listened to the story and the commands with careful attention.
When he finished reading, the people said, “We will do and obey everything the Lord has commanded.” Having heard the written Word of the Lord the people stepped up their commitment. The night before, when they heard a rough retelling, they had said they would “do” it. The next day, after feasting with the Lord and hearing His Word read aloud, they said “we will do and obey.”
Doing is an ‘action’ word. Obeying is ‘being’ word. Doing happens where everyone can see it. Obeying happens in the heart, where only God sees. While most of the commandments are ‘doing’ requirements there are some - particularly the last - that is a ‘being’ word. Covetousness happens quietly inside the heart. But, so does honour, reverence, respect and love. These are the foundational ‘being’ words underneath the ‘doing’ actions of God’s Law.
Having consumed and celebrating God’s goodness in body and spirit the people gave their all to God - mind, body and soul. This is worship.
We are human beings, not human doings. What does this mean about how you will choose to worship God today?
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?