Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.
As a new generation of Israelites anticipated entering the promised Land, the Lord through Moses reviewed the various offerings they were to bring in worship. God dwelt among them; he was the one who brought them up out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into Canaan. By these offerings they would worship the Lord and know him (Exod 29:45-46).
Israel’s worship of the Lord through these sacrifices was to be characterized by faithful obedience. When their worship was evidenced by such faithful love, the Lord would be honored and pleased with their worship (“a sweet aroma”). Offerings for each day and Sabbath, at the beginning of the month, and during the three annual feasts were detailed.
It should be noted that these sacrificial offerings were not made by every Israelite, and not even every Levite. They were made only by the Aaronic priests, and only within the tabernacle. And yet Israelites’ tithes supported the Levites and the priests in their work, thereby participating in their priestly ministry.
During the three annual feasts at the least every male Israelite would be present, and none would do any “customary work.”
All this would be challenged in Canaan. Different gods were worshipped on every high place through pagan rituals of gross immorality. Israel’s faithful obedience to their God’s commands would glorify him and be the means of guarding their souls.
- “Regular” worship aims at pleasing the Lord, not gratifying the worshiper. The aim and purpose is pleasing the Lord. The Lord is pleased, not by merely doing the right things, but by believers’ right response to God’s truth (John 4:24).
- God’s truths must be repeatedly taught. Even though this was taught 40 years beforehand, the presence of a new generation required teaching it again. New generations do not know the ways of the Lord. People forget as life goes on. The presence of error easily contaminates.
- God is worthy of devoted worship. The believer responds to God’s salvation with glad obedience from a heart of love. He does not view the things of the Lord as a drudgery but as a joy.
- Believers in this dispensation must worship the Lord with faithful obedience according to his revealed truth. Christians’ sacrificial offerings in this day and age include their lives (Rom 12:1-2), financial gifts (2 Cor 8-9), devotion to good works (Heb 13:16), and worship with the church (Hev 13:15).