February 13, 2010

Num 5-6: The Blessing

Posted in Consequences/Blessing, Priests, worship tagged , , , , , at 8:25 pm by Steve

The word benediction means blessing and the form of it below from Numbers 6 was prescribed in the law of Moses. This blessing was spoken over the people, the priest having uplifted hands, after every morning and evening sacrifice. The promise that it would be fulfilled by God was also understood and the people would say ‘Amen’ at the end of it, which really means ‘may it be so.’

The blessing, or benediction was also regularly used at the close of worship in the synagogues.

‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

 24 ” ‘ “The LORD bless you and keep you;

 25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

 26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ‘

 27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” [Lev 6]

This is a very common passage that is quoted often during worship services as a final blessing upon the people of God. Each of the three verses speaks of the actions of “the LORD” not the actions of humanity. It speaks to our need for God’s intervention if we are to become the people we were created to be.

The three repetitions of “the LORD” express the triune nature of God.

God the Father is the great protector

God the Son offers grace and truth.

God the Holy Spirit gives lasting peace. The phrase “turn his face toward you” is in contrast to what God says to Moses when Moses asks to see God. God says that we cannot see His face and live. Through God the Holy Spirit we embrace the fullness of God’s face.

This is God’s blessings to the people of Israel. The people wear the name of God.

Mark 10:16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”

Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.”

How do you experience the blessings of God?

How do you “wear” the blessings of God?

How do you share the blessings of God with others?


February 3, 2010

Leviticus 8-10 There HE is!

Posted in Redemption, Revelation, worship tagged , at 10:58 am by webpastormike

One of the pieces of my heritage is hearing Oral Roberts delivering his sermon on Christ in every book of the Bible.  He called it “Who is that fourth man?”  The memory still lingers as a momentous experience and the joy that erupts in me when I find Messiah hiding in plain sight is more than reminiscence it is anticipatory.

Have you ever had the experience while hiking or walking or driving of suddenly seeing a thing of beauty that gives you a sense of awe or wonder?  It is kind of like that when He lets me discover Him where I did not see Him before.  Wow!

Worship is like that, don’t you think?  Suddenly there HE is!

It seems to me that the rapture will be this kind of suddenly.  It is not as if He was not always there, it is just that we did not have the eyes to see Him.  When He physically appeared to the disciples after the resurrection in a room with closed doors, it was a suddenly too.  It is no wonder that Thomas’ exclamation was so worship filled “My Lord and my God”.  I have just enough experience with suddenlies to thirst for more.  Perhaps this is the deposit/gift of the Holy Spirit who guarantees what is to come.  Ah! if so then Maranatha… come Lord Jesus!

Where do you see Messiah in Leviticus 8-10?

I found him of all places on a hat.  There is a beautiful piece of gold on Aaron’s headpiece that is a “sacred diadem”.  You probably already know what that is but I had to look it up.  Here is what it says in Vines Expository Dictionary.

diadema1238 is derived from diadeo “to bind round.”  It was the kingly ornament for the head, and especially the blue band marked with white, used to bind on the turban or tiara of Persian kings.  It was adopted by Alexander the Great and his successors.  Among the Greeks and Romans it was the distinctive badge of royalty.  Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to wear it constantly.  The word is found in Rev 12:3; 13:1; 19:12, in which passages it symbolizes the rule respectively of the Dragon, the Beast, and Christ.  In the Sept., Esther 1:11; 2:17, in some manuscripts in 6:8 and 8:15; also in Isaiah 62:3-4.  For the distinction between this and stephanos see CROWN.

So there He sits, Christ the King on the hat of a priest!  He binds together, makes sacred, and glorifies the head of God’s chosen priest.  Does He not continue to do the same even now, with a substance that is even more precious than gold.  And there He is going with the priest, into the Holy of Holies, carrying blood to sanctify the chosen people.
high priest garments
I think that I will have to rethink my hat bands role from now on.  Now it is a reminder of the taste of the glory that is to come!  My hat band, reminds me of Aaron’s hat band, which reminds me of the King who binds me together with the Holy Spirit, makes me sacred in His service and Glorifies Father God.

Ah, memories and reminders are good things for men and women to carry into our future.

January 28, 2010

Exo 30-32: Reverence and Awe

Posted in Fear, Moses, worship tagged , , , , , , , at 10:51 pm by Steve

(1)   Pay attention to Details!

Assume for a moment you’ve been invited to the White House to have dinner the President, the Vice-President and their families. What would you do? Perhaps you would buy a new dress or new suit, new hair styling, shoes, nails, etc. Every detail of your appearance would be analyzed and if possible, improved. You would arrive in Washington a day early and spend all day getting ready because after all this is the President.

When we prepare to meet the Creator of the Universe do we send much time with the details? Notice that every detail of the Ark of the Covenant is described, every weight and measure of the incense to be used and how often is recorded for the generations. It may seem to be in nauseating detail, but it is God’s way of saying this is to be unlike any other place on earth. It is to be God’s place.

When you prepare to encounter God at worship or private prayer, do you have the same reverence and awe that God if offering to the Hebrews?

(2)  Old Testament example of Spiritual gifts

31:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.

(3)  Golden Calf

After all that God had done to liberate these slaves from Egypt, why the Golden Calf?

I think that without Moses’ constant leadership and movement they pressure was off and people will naturally revert to what they are comfortable with even that means returning to Egypt. Why do battered women return to the same situation time and time again? Why do people go to jobs they hate day after day? Why do people fight to maintain youth when aging cannot be stopped?

The Golden Calf represents our hesitancy to trust God and have the kind of faith that moves mountains. A faith that has not been tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. This is the first time Moses leaves the people for an extended period of time with disastrous results. If we can create our own god, even though heartless and powerless, we will bow before something we can control.

What is your Golden Calf that when stressed, you will seek help besides God?

What is your greatest fear that would cause you to build a Golden calf?