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27 July 2012

Worship - 27 July

“You shall also make a basin of bronze, with its stand of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it, 19 with which Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet. 20 When they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn a food offering to the Lord, they shall wash with water, so that they may not die.  Ex 30:18-20 (ESV)

Aaron and his sons, the priests, had to wash their hands and feet in the bronze laver before they entered the tent of meeting so they wouldn’t die. Why?

How does the laver help us to understand the way that God expects us to worship Him? And what does it have to do with us?

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. Psalms 24:3-4 (ESV)

We cannot stand in worship of our holy God without clean hands and a pure heart. The priests helped offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. The bronze laver made the priests ceremonially clean, able to approach God without immediately dying. For us, it’s important to be ceremonially clean, too.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Eph 5:25-27 (ESV)

Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us to make us ceremonially clean, too! We become clean when we ask Jesus to be the Lord of our lives. This is the “bronze altar” step. But what about the “bronze laver”? That is represented by our prayers.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Our prayers of confession make us ceremonially clean. The Christian life is more than just saying a prayer. It’s a life of worship to the holy God. We cannot properly worship God without being cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

When we choose to worship what we’re actually doing is looking at ourselves in relation to another Person and determining our relative worth. Worship isn’t singing – worship is LIVING. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome, and he tells us, through them, what is needed to truly know Jesus and to worship Him. Paul calls us to total commitment to Christ in honor of His total commitment to us.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 (ESV)

Is it possible to live out this commitment? What do you need to change to make your body a living sacrifice? If you are like me, you already know that there is at least one area of your life that God wants you to change. Are you willing to let go of what God is showing you? What will it take to get you to the next level of commitment?

It’s the weekend and time to prepare for church on Sunday. Will you attend church, or will you go to church prepared to worship? I pray that we will all lift up holy and clean hands to the One True God as we attend services this weekend.

Next week we will follow the priest into the holy place, the entrance to God’s dwelling place.

What do you think of this study? Has it made the tabernacle come to life? Do you view  your church service differently? I’d love to know!  See you Monday.

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