Today’s Reading: Leviticus 17:1-5
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to Aaron, his sons, and all the Israelites and tell them: This is what the Lord has commanded.”
Reflection: God is interested in the details of how we worship and honor Him. His expectation of us to listen and obey His instruction can be seen in what He commands the Israelites. God specifies to Moses that the Israelites are to offer sacrifices to Him only from His Holy Tabernacle. All offerings made elsewhere are considered idol worship, and result in banishment from His community.
Why was God so strict with the Israelites about how and where they offered sacrifices to Him? One concern was that sacrifices made in the open country were usually to pagans gods of the region. God did not want any aspect of worship unto Him to resemble the worship practices of the surrounding nations. Following God requires requires more than simply declaring our belief in Him and doing good in the world. It also involves surrendering to the way that He instructs us by His Word and His Spirit, and results in our looking much different from the world around us.
How do we approach God in our worship of Him? Sometimes, even in our earnest efforts to please God, our conduct as His people runs contrary to His specific instruction. If we are not careful to listen and obey His Word and Spirit, we risk claiming faith in God while neglecting to set ourselves apart for Him. We risk looking just like the world around us, nulling God’s intent to show the blessing that results from surrender to Him.
Are we seeking God’s instruction on how to worship and honor Him with our lives? In His Word and by His Spirit, His direction is available to all of us.
Prayer: Holy God, thank You for Your instruction. Thank You for guiding me by Your Way and Your Truth. I would be lost without You. As I seek direction from You by Your Holy Word, I pray that You would help me to grow my faith and trust in the ways You are guiding me, and that You would also grant me the courage to follow You wherever lead. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN.
Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Biblestudytools.com): Matthew 13:1-23; Leviticus 17-18; Proverbs 28