Devotional Thoughts for Today
“The Word of God”—yawn!
“ And they bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so that it should lie on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose from the ephod, as the Lord had commanded Moses.”
Recently, I heard a sermon from a pastor who grew up as a Muslim in Iran. It was an incredible testimony that demonstrated God’s relentless pursuit of His children. One part of the story struck me. After becoming a Christian, he did not have access to the Bible since Iran is a closed country; in fact, owning a copy could have carried serious consequences. Therefore, he had to go to great lengths to find an online version of the New Testament to read. Understandably, for this pastor, coming before the Bible was no small matter—it was the very sacred words of God—and possessing a copy for himself was well worth the risk.
His story reminded me of the freedom I possess simply because I live in the United States. However, the downside of having easy access to a Bible or even the ability to worship freely without fear is that we no longer value what we have. Our attitudes become overly casual when we approach God’s word or come to service on Sundays. There is no understanding that we are standing on sacred ground before a holy God.
In today’s passage, I want to focus on one refrain that is found throughout the chapter: “as the LORD had commanded Moses.” It is important to recognize, as we read the directions for building the various garments for the high priest, that the specifications were not man-made. It was God who provided them. God is the one who has given the exact dimensions and designs for each garment. It is what He deemed as proper attire for acceptable worship. The entire process is not left up to Moses or the priest, but He is exact on what worship should look like. Although it may seem trivial, the fact that God took the time to give such specifics demonstrates just how seriously He takes worship; how serious it is to enter into the presence of God.
As Christians who have the privilege of routinely walking into a church building for service, it is easy to forget the seriousness of worship- that we are entering onto sacred ground. Oftentimes the routine of weekly services makes it easy to forget this truth, and we come with a lackadaisical posture. But it is important to remind ourselves that we stand before a holy God who takes worship seriously. Let us remember that we are entering the very presence of God and standing on holy ground when we worship!
Prayer: Father, we thank You that through the gospel of Your Son Jesus, we have been given the privilege of worship. Thank You that we are not only allowed to be in your presence but also to enjoy You. I pray that I would sense the weight of what it means to worship You!
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 19
Lunch Break Study
Read Isaiah 6:1-7: In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Questions to Consider
- To where is Isaiah taken and what is going on in this passage?
- What is Isaiah’s immediate reaction when he realizes He is in God’s temple?
- What might Isaiah’s vision teach you about worship?
- Isaiah is taken to the very throne room of God where it seems like there is a worship service going on. The angelic beings are proclaiming the holiness of God and His glory.
- Isaiah recognizes his own sinfulness when he realizes he is in God’s presence. It is not a casual encounter, but he feels the weight of God’s glory.
Take some time to reflect on your posture when it comes to worship. How have you taken worship for granted? Are you coming into the presence of God seriously, recognizing the weight of His glory? Spend some time praying and asking God for the right heart before Him.