Meditation

08/18/2020

They will eat the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings; and everything in Israel devoted to the Lord will belong to them. The best of all the firstfruits and of all your special gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give them the first portion of your ground meal so that a blessing may rest on your household.(Ezekiel44:2930)

Giving is a part of worship. The gifts help support the leaders of worship. This was true for Israel’s life as a nation, for Ezekiel’s vision of a restored nation. It is also part of the Mosaic Covenant, which was put in place for God’s people and that they had lived under until the Exile took place.

While Jeremiah preached in Jerusalem about a new covenant being implemented in the place of the Mosaic Covenant, Ezekiel assured the people of the exile that God would one day make a new covenant with His people. That covenant would be associated with the coming Messiah, and in it they would know peace and an inward inclination to serve God. The New Temple would be vastly different from that of Ezekiel’s youth, primarily the most radical difference being the absence of their mos t sacred symbol, the ark of the covenant. Instead, the very glory of Yahweh would inhabit the house, and His followers would serve Him.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, as we have learned when our Lord Jesus came into His time on this earth, that he was not removing the Old Testament Law, the Mosaic Covenant; rather, He was affirming it and adding to the New Covenant. Help us to reach out to people not in laws, but in the love of God for one another, which the New Testament defines for those who call themselves Christians. Let His Light shine through us, that all that come and respond to Him, will find the same Light in their own lives. This we pray in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Christians are like piano’s, they need frequent tuning.

KNOWING GOD:

I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-falling stream!” (Amos5:2124)

The people of God should not neglect assembling for religious activity, but such activity does not please God unless the people are involved in righteous living that produces and maintains justice in all human affairs and relationships. God’s people must live according to His standards before we can expect God to accept our gifts as proper expressions of worship. He expects righteousness to precede righteous rites of worship.

I AM:

A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me? Says the Lord Almighty. ‘It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.’ But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ You place defiled food on my altar. But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you? Says the Lord Almighty. ‘Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?’ —-says the Lord Almighty. On, that one of you would shut the temple doors so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not please with you, says the Lord Almighty, and I will accept no offering from your hands. ‘My name will be great among the nations from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,’ says the Lord Almighty. But you profane it by saying of the Lord’s table, ‘It is defied’, and of its food, ‘ItIt is contemptible.’ And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,’ says the lord Almighty. ‘When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?’ says the Lord. ‘Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and my name is to be feared among the nations.’” (Malachi1:6-14)

Beloved, giving reflects our character and the genuineness of our devotion to God. If we truly revere God, we will never offer cast-off or leftover gifts, such as a sick animal or property gained by unethical means. God deserves only the best we have. Anything less shows serving and pleasing Him is not our top priority. God’s ordained ministers are responsible to lead God’s people to give their very best to God. The failure of ministerial leadership brings failure of the people. Beloved, whatever you are offering up to God in worship, should honor your relationship with God, not defame Him. Clear enough?

Second Thought of the Day:

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of he altar. Frost go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew5:2324)

It is important to note that Matthew’s Gospel was written after AD 80, and people had three options: 1) Accept or reject Jesus as the promised Jewish Messiah (Most did reject Him, though some became believers). 2) They could live according to the Jewish or Mosaic Law as the Pharisees taught, becoming legalists after they have become Christians. 3) Decide that because they were Christians the law was no longer necessary for them, which they lived as they pleased, without any moral rules.

So, you can see the people were in a state of confusion or just merely lived how they wanted to, not being responsible for their moral lives. Giving is such a sacred and worshipful act that it should not be thwarted by a person’s wrong relationship with another. God so values showing mercy and achieving reconciliation that it justifies temporarily postponing the act of giving. It is so important to be reconciled with your brothers and sisters, that it is better to withhold your gifts, until you have addressed any conflict. Show mercy, reconcile and then your gits are so much more special and pleasing to God!

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