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Gathering Together

Leviticus 17:8-9 And you shall say to them, “Any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice 9 and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it to the LORD, that man shall be cut off from his people.”

Some people don’t like the Old Testament because it is so cut and dried – so harsh. But I like it because it is so concrete. It is drawing for us a tangible, physical picture of an intangible spiritual truth. It is the spiritual truth it depicts that I love. Always look for the spiritual truth behind the physical picture depicted in the Old Testament and you will find glorious riches.

So, what spiritual truth do our verses point to today? I frequently hear people say that God is everywhere and that He can be worshipped everywhere or anywhere. This usually is said in response to the question of whether they go to church on Sunday and it is usually said in defense of their position that they do not attend church. The upshot of what they are saying is that they worship God as much as anyone, they just do it where they find themselves. I find this approach to worship interesting because it acts as if God has never spoken to us or revealed Himself to us. The truth is that we have His Word and the Word tells us that the Sabbath is different from the other six days of the week. It not only is a day of rest, it is a day of assembly. Lev. 23:3 (NIV) This is an important point to remember for those who would like to worship God by communing with nature over a cup of coffee on Sunday morning. There was a time when the Jews wandered around the desert with no fixed place to worship. Each man, presumably, was left to fix his own place for worshiping God and offering his sacrifices. The Word, however, tells us, as it does here in Leviticus 17:8-9, that once the Tabernacle was established, the sacrifices were to be brought to the meeting place established by God. Sacrificing out in the fields wherever you wanted was no longer acceptable. A believer’s sacrifices were to be brought to the tent of meeting. That is so significant to me that God would describe His place of worship as a meeting place. It is significant because it conveys God’s concept of worship as an exercise done corporately and not an exercise done in isolation. The New Testament expresses it this way: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25. So, if you’ve been worshiping God in isolation, try something different this Sunday. Meet together with us. Bring your sacrifices of praise and worship to the “tent of meeting” known as Full Life. We’d love to have you!

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