“After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, ‘It is too much for you you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ One day he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there.” (1st Kings 12:28-30- Confession of Belief Recites History)
Confessing the right words in the wrong context is sinful. Jeroboam repeated Israel’s basic confession of faith in God’s deliverance in the Exodus. He suggested his calves represented the presence of the God of the Exodus. God punished his house for this grave sin because God explicitly prohibited images representing Him, with no exceptions allowed.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, throughout history Your church has lifted up persons as being saints for the work they did which caused Your church to grow and bear much fruit for the kingdom of Heaven, and yet not even one has ever been the focus of worship. As the Triune God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), You and You alone have been and always should be the focus of our worship. The verses from 1st Kings is a reminder that it was not ever appropriate to worship golden calf or anything else but You alone. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Giving makes living better.”
“Proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 26:7 – Confession of Belief Recites History)
Proclaiming God’s saving acts is a central part of worship. God wants believers to tell the masses the wondrous deeds of the Lord. The “joy of the Lord” is not only our strength; it is the motivation of our evangelization towards all people.
“My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember, your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you make known the righteous acts of the Lord.“ (Micah 6:3-5 – Confession of Belief Recites History)
Israel’s worship was supposed to center on confession of God’s historical acts. Too often it centered on complaint about God’s lack of action. God called Israel to remember what He had done and know He would continue to be their Redeemer. Correctly seen, history justifies God. It does not condemn God. It calls to praise and confession not complaint and self-pity.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: ‘Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!! The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert, he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance. All this took about 450 years. ‘After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ ‘From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as He promised. Before the coming of Jesus John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Though they found no proper grounds for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people” (Acts 13:16-31– Confession of Belief Recites History)
New Testament proclamation continued the Old Testament practice of formulating confessions of faith in narrative form, confessing God’s historical acts. New Testament confession center on the history of Jesus. The confession is a message of salvation available to all peoples—-Jews and non-Jews. The confession is not a statement to be memorized and held as a standard of judgment for others. It is a personal formulation of the church’s central message for its members and to all people who believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior and that we confess this willingly and openly, for the salvation being offered is free to all who claim it!
God’s salvation history with Israel is a part of Christian proclamation. Jesus’ offer of justification and forgiveness for intentional and unintentional sins through faith is a crucial element of said proclamation.