“When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, ‘Everything the Lord has said we will do.’ Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, ‘We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.’” (Exodus 24:3, 7)
Affirming obedience to God’s ethical requirements in a corporate context reinforces our resolve to carry out that ethical obedience.
Worship should not only place demands on us as individuals, but also also provide us the opportunity to respond to God’s demands as a corporate body of Christ.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You sent Moses to bring the Book of the Covenant to read to the people all Your words and laws and collectively, they responded in agreement of everything that the Lord had said and they would do. Further, they agreed to be obedient from this moment on. The people of the 12 tribes agreed to do God’s will and to be obedient to His will, and through several symbolic gestures, they affirmed all that was said and done on this day. In our baptism vows, we too agree with God’s Word and His will for us and our obedience to Your will, and received the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and guidance throughout our lives to follow through what we said we would do. It is in our Lord and Savior’s name, Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Jesus can calm the storm, and He can calm us in the storm.”
“Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.” (Psalm 15:1-5)
Who will truly worship God? The psalmist answers that with one of he many character portrayals of the Old Testament. Note the several references to treatment of other persons which are given as direct proofs of relationship to God. This prayer expresses a perfect relationship to the Lord. This includes total dependence on God for all that is good and true delight in the Lord’s saints. Joy in the Lord contrasts with the sorrow of those who choose other gods. Exclusive loyalty to the Lord brings contentment with whatever lot God gives us in our lives. Prayer is a time to express confidence in God.
“The rest of the people—-priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand—-all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.” (Nehemiah10:29)
The people renewed the covenant given Moses (Exodus 24:1-11). The acknowledgment of the curse along with the oath b the people is unusual and indicates the strength of their commitment. The curse was the covenant curses for those who broke the covenant (Leviticus 26:14-46; Deut. 26-28). Public worship ceremonies lead God’s people to renew their covenant commitments to God. God’s people often find it necessary to write down the characteristics that identify us as people of God and the commitments w make to our God which distinguish us from all other people. The Israelites in Nehemiah’s day set a good example for all succeeding written covenants.
Second Thought of the Day:
The New Testament reveals the need of the giving of ourselves and all we are to God as an act of Worship. Christ’s death on the cross fulfilled the Old Testament requirement to make animal sacrifices. That aspect of worship is now expressed in the giving of our lives completely to the Lord and faithful giving our our possessions. Such self-giving is a basic attitude of worship.
“Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—-his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:1–3)
Worship is so much more than feeling good about God. Worship includes the matter of applying faith to everyday life. We worship as we pattern life after God’s ways and not the worlds. This is possible when God changes our mindstyle. That is, God’s Spirit works in us so we can test and judge to determine God’s will within us.