Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Personal Worship Strong in the Old Testament

Worship for the Believer
Personal Worship is very strong in the Old Testament

Exodus 12:21–28
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. 22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. 24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. 28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

There was a previous mention of worship by Abraham by offering Isaac. It is a direct statement that worship was directly related to the offering of the sacrifice. This was a private moment of worship in which Abraham was willing to sacrifice any possession, emotion, and act of obedience.

Private worship as depicted in Abraham’s offering of Isaac defined and shaped the future understanding of worship for corporate Israel. In the future, instead of private, secluded places, God would establish a tabernacle and a temple where sacrificial worship could occur, but it was still an individual act. The individual Israelite male and female were responsible for obedience to a code of sacrifice, were responsible for the appropriateness of the offering, and were responsible for their correctness in relation to the sacrifice.

Therefore, it would be a wrong assumption that corporate worship is the replacement for personal worship, or that corporate worship does not include personal worship. In fact, worship can only occur individually regardless of the event the believer may be attending. Worship is and always will be a private matter of the heart sometimes set in the venue of an assemblage. There are many Biblical instances in which corporate worship is mentioned, yet, for the most part, the corporate is actually an assemblage of individual acts of obedient worship.

The believer can worship privately through prayer in the modern church service. The prayer of cleansing prior to the observance of the Lord’s Supper would be one such time. In order not to partake unworthily of this prescribed church event the believer is warned to be certain of his worthiness.

The believer can make the offering time an act of worship. The believer can renew his understanding and commitment that all he has is from the Lord’s, and he physically makes this an offering of his wealth. It is a sacrifice to God on the altar of his heart.

The believer can worship while listening to the preaching of God’s Word. Listening and then sacrificing his understanding and thinking for the understanding and thinking developed in God’s Word.

The believer can worship at the invitation by responding to the Word of God physically. The invitation time is the altar experience which is the sacrifice of the believer’s will to God’s will.

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