Day: August 2, 2018

God Among Us

Exodus 29:1-46

Remember theme of Exodus: comes from God’s demand of Pharaoh, Ex. 7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1

“And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”

YHWH intended his people to be free to worship. But they had a problem – in present condition, lacking certain things including knowledge, could not worship God in way he expected. Present text details important elements of God’s plan to change that, will begin by reading just first 9 verses.

God instructed Moses back in chapter 25: “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Have already indicated that for God to really dwell among his people, some things need to change. For God to meet with his people, effectively speak to his people, and instruct his people, they need to be properly prepared. Is God who takes initiative, God who establishes relationship and its conditions, God who stoops down to his people that he might ultimately raise them up to live with him.

“…the overall message [of chapter 29] would be: Everyone who ministers, everyone who worships, and everything they use in the presence of Yahweh, must be set apart to God by the cleansing, enabling, and sanctifying work of God.” NET Bible

We have a preview first of the things necessary for approach to God in worship, then the preparation required for the one who will serve God directly by leading in worship. Say once again, specific details applied to children of Israel under old covenant. Principles relevant to people of God in every generation, new covenant included.

A. preview v.1-3

take

3 distinct sacrificial animals, 3 kinds of grain offering – fuller description in Lev. 8 of significance of each, more on that in a bit

required thought and action, to gather the things necessary for worship – was not drive-thru church, designed for convenience

put

were to put unleavened bread, cakes, wafers made with wheat flour into one basket… to be brought along with animals as complete sacrifice

Aaron and his sons not to be devoted piece-meal to God’s use – were to be completely consecrated in every part, holding back nothing for self

bring

not everything necessary for proper worship found at place of worship – things necessary for both sacrifice and fellowship

worshiper on this side of the cross still brings sacrifice – sacrifice for sin already made, Jesus – sacrifice of consecration, what you bring when you come: Rom. 12:1

B. preparation v.4-9

cleansed

this is a ritual, ceremony, things done have spiritual significance beyond the obvious – God requires clean servants and worshipers

need to be washed from those things that would contaminate, sin, to be fit for God’s presence:

Tit. 3:5 “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”

clothed

was to be obvious to even casual observer God’s servants don’t belong to rank and file of the world – require something outside themselves for God to accept them

even with washing, not sufficient in itself to fit servant for Master’s presence – must have right clothes, wearing uniform of the one who called them into service – for us, clothed with righteousness of Christ (Gal. 3:27)

anointed

a visible sign that the one being anointed is set apart for a holy purpose, dedicated to God and his use – ultimate anointed one… the Lord Jesus

for Aaron, was a lavish outpouring of oil, not simply dip and daub – like our High Priest, given Holy Spirit without measure who flows abundantly to all those in Christ

consecrated

a one-time ceremony: once a priest, always a priest – no trial period, no fixed-length contract, to be vocation for life — same for one called to be follower of Christ

C. pardon v.10-37

preparation good and necessary according to God’s decree… but not sufficient – washing / clothing / anointing not adequate to provide cleansing from sin

blood / life

model from beginning of human history – once sin entered world, penalty for sin had to be paid… either by sinner or substitute

even though Aaron and sons had been washed, clothed, anointed, stood there as sinners in need of forgiveness… daily

hand on the head of the bull: guilt belonging to person transferred to animal, animal the substitute, a sin offering for worshiper… symbolizing the one who would be final sacrifice

pleasing aroma

first ram offered in its entirety as burnt offering, a gift to God – could not be rightly offered to God until sacrifice for sin had been made

when worshiper comes as God has ordained, approaching holy God as a cleansed and forgiven child, sacrifice he then makes is pleasing to God… “a sweet aroma”

how gracious of God – imperfect sacrifice, imperfect worship offered by imperfect people can still be acceptable to God… because of (for them) what Jesus would do, (for us) what Jesus has done

fellowship

God takes his grace up a notch – second ram to be a peace offering or fellowship (consecration) offering: part of ram along with some of bread burned… offered to God

rest of ram cooked, along with rest of bread in the basket eaten by the worshipers (Aaron and sons)… in fellowship with God himself

is as pardoned and sanctified sinners in fellowship with God that servants are equipped to minister to spiritual needs of one another

NOTE: in all of this how little Aaron did… didn’t wash himself, make his own clothes, didn’t even put own clothes on, didn’t sacrifice the animals, anoint himself – was all done for him by another

the way it is for us, too – cannot make ourselves fit for worship, must have someone else do for us – yet, once prepared, pardoned, consecrated, the devoted worshiper is a useful servant to God and his people

D. promise v.38-46

you will – terms of worship

sacrifice – reminded again that no one can approach God on their own merits… which can only earn them death – God so determined to have relationship with people has made way for that to be possible… w/o sacrificing any part of his character

frequency – morning, evening – will certainly deflate any attempt at pride, cannot make it through a day without displeasing God in some way

applies to God’s people, whatever their specific vocation – those who are called to full-time minstry, part-time ministry, any other vocation stand in need of daily forgiveness

duration – continual – unlike what brothers and sisters in holiness circles might think, child of God never arrives at perfection in this life… must wait until next life for that blessing

I will – response to worship

“Worshiping God according to His Word brings him glory, honor, and praise because we are submitting to His will and wisdom in giving Him what He requires and desires. Since worshiped is focused on the glory of God, it should be the highest of priorities for us as His children.” [Daniel Hyde]

when we worship God according to his word, he promises to:

meet with you – here is the most important element of worship: face-to-face meeting with God himself, responding to God as he engages his people

not just that God is willing to meet with his people, he does so and gives his glory to the place of meeting

speak with you – God meets with his people for particular purpose: to communicate his truth to his people in order to transform them… so they leave different from how they came

consecrate you – consecrates both the place and the people… by his presence, his glory – meeting God in worship means some of God rubs off on his people

others should see more of God in you after you meet with him – more of God in you increases desire for more of God

make you to know – true worship, meeting God not simply emotionally stirring, nor intellectually stimulating – is how we come to know God better because we experience him here

All of this… worship as God intends it… only possible because a Lamb was sacrificed for sin. Not the one this morning, or the one on Passover, but the one Lamb of God each of those other lambs represented. Is the Lamb of God whose blood takes away our sin, cleanses us, washes us from our unrighteousness. Is the perfect righteousness of Lamb of God who came and dwelt among us that gives us standing before a holy God. Thank God he provided the Lamb for us that we might come into his presence, hear him speak to us, have full assurance of an eternal future with him.

29. Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?

Matthew 22:12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.

Read: Matthew 22:1-14

Setting:

Monday of Passion Week, after Triumphal Entry (Matt. 21:7ff) — cleansing Temple (2nd time) v.12 — healed blind and lame v.14

authority challenged by chief priests, scribes on Sunday v.15-16 — again on Monday v.23 — Jesus responded by teaching with parables v.28ff: two sons (21:28-32), tenants (21:33-46), wedding banquet (22:1-14)

so… in the Temple, religious leaders and Pharisees along with multitude of Jewish people including the Twelve (v.20, 23, 45-46)

first part of parable addresses issue of rejection – failure to acknowledge the importance and identity of the king’s son, second part focuses on authority

Person(s) being questioned:

directly, the one improperly dressed at the wedding

indirectly, any in the crowd to whom it might apply — given v.45, possible if not likely that religious leaders were Jesus’ primary target — immediate response by Pharisees: “then the Pharisees… plotted how to entangle him in his talk”

Question behind the question:

By what means did he gain entrance to the wedding? — was a “by invitation only” kind of event

By whose authority was he present among the guests? — proper garment supplied by the king evidence of invitation from the king

iow, what right did he have to be there? (strongly implied… he had none)

Expected response:

possibly “special invitation”, late arrival, no time to get dressed, some other excuse

or… the one given, nothing – what could he honestly say that would legitimize his presence?

only way into the venue “guarded” by the one giving out wedding garments – to be inside w/o meant coming in by another way

Jesus’ point:

is a “kingdom” parable – Jewish leaders convinced kingdom belonged to Jews, they were in it, and… they had right handle on who could enter / stay in and how

entrance into the kingdom not one of birth or religion – by either being born a Jew or becoming a Jew

staying in the kingdom not achieved through obedience to the Law and at the discretion of religious leaders

same for privileges of leadership / teaching authority – is by invitation and endorsement of “the king” that one has kingdom privileges

Modern Application:

entrance into kingdom is only by invitation / call of God, legitimized by having right garment… the righteousness of Christ

without proper garment, will not be allowed to “remain” in kingdom, have no proper authority (teaching / governing / discipline)