Saturday, August 1, 2009

Deuteronomy - One Place of Worship

It has been fascinating just reading Deuternomy slowly. I will attempt to share with you in the next few posts some insights into the Feasts of Israel and the various offerings that were mentioned in the book.

One thing we must watch out for when we read or study the Word of God is to look for repetitions. If something is repeated enough, it may be important. For e.g. note these two phrases:

  • The place the Lord will choose
  • The place the Lord your God will choose
In my bible study, I have compiled these phrases in the table here.

The Lord requires a single place of worship. Why? The tabernacle, the Lord's dwelling place during the 40 years of wandering in the desert, will eventually be located in the city of Jerusalem, where the Lord will choose to dwell. The ultimate fulfillment of this command came centuries later when God let David move the tabernacle to Jerusalem where his son Solomon built the temple. The command for a single sanctuary promoted or emphasized three things: the unity of God (He is One, not many), the purity of the Israelites’ worship of the Lord, and the people’s political and spiritual unity. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

The Tabernacle of Moses

Solomon's Temple

Moses stresses the importance of centralizing the place of worship in the promised land, where the Caanites had established many places of worship for their many gods. The people of God must be different from them.

The sacrifices, offerings and feasts will culminate in the Temple, where feasting and rejoicing takes place as well as celebrating God and His blessings.

What's the application of this truth? Simply that we must have only one place of worship and that is God in our hearts. He must take first place and be seated on the throne of our hearts. The Bible says we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit where the Holy Spirit dwells. Not just dwelling in us individually, but in the church as a community.

1 Cor 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

2 Cor 6:16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Isn't that an amazing truth, that we can have a personal relationship with this God? No wonder the Israelites would exclaim:

Deuteronomy 4:5-8
5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

People will look at the church and we can exclaim: "What other community is so great to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?"

Is there a prominent place of worship in your life? Sing this song in your heart now:

I will have no other gods before You
Only You will reign as my heart’s King
I will have no other gods before You
I will put You first in everything

With all my heart with all my soul
With all my might I want to love You Lord
With all my heart with all my soul
With all my might I want to love You Lord

No comments:

Post a Comment