The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Leviticus 8:1-36; 9:22-24; 10:1-3

How Awesome Worship Is!

Someone has said, “I often think of [worship] as certain words which people have successfully addressed to God without their getting killed” (Annie Dillard).  Worship is serious business.  In worship, we come before the all-holy, all-powerful God – the only God, after whom there is no appeal, no higher court, no other authority.  The Lord is God, Maker of heaven and earth, and it is before this majestic God that we waltz into sanctuaries, mindlessly sing hymns, and doze through sermons.  It strikes me that we are not more afraid to approach Him, and how biblical phrases like the “fear of the LORD” are unpopular.  I see no other way to approach the Lord.

It is not my intention to go into detail about the history surrounding the way God instructed the Israelites how to do things.  I’m sure I don’t know.  That He was to be worshiped in a certain way is clear, and that there were consequences for “making it up as we go along” is equally clear.  God directed Moses and Aaron as to how things were to be done – from erecting the tabernacle to ordaining Aaron and his sons to performing sacrifices – all in the minutest detail.  Nadab and Abihu presumed to do something other than what was prescribed – and they were rewarded.

Yes, these were the shadows of the good things to come, but we must not discount the lessons learned from out of the shadows (1 Corinthians 10:6-11).  And, yes, John 4:23-24 tells us that those who worship God must do so in spirit and in truth.  But at its heart, this spirit must include reverence and this truth must be God’s truth.  This is why Hebrews 12:18-29 is so instructive for us.  Even the Lord’s descent on Mount Sinai with all its thunderbolts and trumpet blasts is not worthy to be compared to the worship we experience – or at least that we are supposed to experience.  “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect … Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”  May computer programs be user-friendly, and furniture be comfortable, but never let the Church or her worship be so.

“I often think of [worship] as certain words which people have successfully addressed to God without their getting killed.”  Nadab and Abihu could have benefited from that piece of advice.  So could we.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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