Jan. 14, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 14
And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. Exodus 20:25-26
LET IT GLOW
Do I watch how I sit in the choir while I wear a dress? Am I aware of any inappropriate over-exposure of my body? (Too low a cut top exposes when bending over or crossing legs in a short skirt can reveal too much.) Our choir is up on a platform higher than the congregation. Even a person kneeling and praying below the edge of the platform should not have an inappropriate view up a woman's dress. Things to consider.
God is reminding His children against image worship. At this point, He had only spoken to them, by voice, and led them by a cloud and fire. The people were forbidden to make any representations of God out of gold or silver, nor any idols of worship as such. God is a Spirit and we worship Him with our spirit.
While ye think by them to assist your devotion, ye will really corrupt it, and put a cheat upon yourselves. (Matthew Henry)
The giving of the law begins with keeping the heart pure in worship. I our worship can be corrupted, it eventually touches every other area of our lives for evil. (Guzik)
Keep inn mind that the Israelites spent over 400 years surrounded by idol worship in Egypt. They had to guard their hearts against such tendencies.
Do we guard our hearts against allowing or making things more important than worshiping our God?
House cleaning, cooking a big Sunday meal for our family, rest for ourselves, hobbies, time spent with the family, catching up on things at work, these can all pull us away from our time of worship. Even if we are sitting in a service, we must guard our minds from wondering off on these things to be done.
LET IT GROW
Here are directions for making altars of worship for the Israelites to please God. It was meant for occasional altars in the wilderness, before the tabernacle was erected, and afterward upon special emergencies for present use (such as Gideon, Manoah, Samuel, and other used).
As they were inclined to make offerings (burnt and peace offerings of sheep and oxen) to God upon the altars, there were guidelines established for them to follow:
- an altar of natural stones piled up, kept as they were in the rough, not hewn stone, (gaziyth in Hebrew, pronounced gaw-zeeth') referred to something cut; dressed stone; (Strong's Concordance)
- if they lifted a tool upon the stone to chisel a design, it was then polluted;
- the beauty of holiness needs no paint;
- their altars were to be made very low (verse 26) so that they might not go up steps to them;
- were designed to offer one beast at a time upon the altar (in comparison to the large one in Solomon's temple). (Matthew Henry)
The latter part of verse 24, God says in places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
Now, people are encouraged to pray everywhere; wherever God's people meet in His name to worship Him, He will be in the midst of them; He will honor them with His presence, and reward them with the gifts of His grace, there He will come unto them and will bless them, and we need not desire for the beautifying of our solemn assemblies. (Henry)
Since God looks at the heart and not the sacrifice, how is the attitude of our hearts?
LET IT GO
Keep the altar of my heart unpolluted.
Worship God in spirit and in truth.
Watch how I am dressed during worship service.