the wonder of worship

Topic: Worship. Categories: Experience God> Know God>
Bible Scriptures: 1 Kings 6:12-13, 2 Chronicles 5:11-14, Exodus 40:34-35, Exodus 24:16-17, John 1:14, John 2:19-22, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5-6, Revelation 21:3-4.

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It is such a privilege to come together as one in unity of Spirit and worship the Living God. Each one on an individual journey and with all our stuff together of one accord, to worship the Living God. 

This is the wonder of worship. Worship in unity of Spirit and in truth testifying of who God is and what He has done. Today we will go back in time. To a time when a king desired to build a temple for the Living to dwell. 

Turn with me to 1 Kings 6:12-13 where God is speaking to King Solomon who is building a temple according to the pattern given by God to his father David.

1 Kings 6:12-13 “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

The word temple can mean house, those of same family, shelter, dwelling. This a beautiful picture of the kingdom of God. God’s family gathered together in one place. Together in a place of shelter, dwelling together with the Lord God Almighty.

life of worship

God said to the people of Israel, ‘if you walk in my statutes’. Which is walking in His ways, believing in Him. Walking in His presence and dwelling with Him, doing life with Him. Just like in the beginning of creation when God walked in the garden in the cool of the evening with the first man and woman. How beautiful it must of been, where there was only goodness, a sanctuary filled with God’s delight and presence.  

Before humanity ran from God’s presence, filled with shame and guilt having chosen to be one with good and evil. Instead of only good. 

Remember it was humanity that chose to hide from God, not God from humanity. Humanity is  continually trying to hide it’s shame. God is continually revealing Himself and making Himself  known so He can empower us to be free of the shame.

God continues in saying to King Solomon, ‘execute my judgements’. Which means to make my justice known by being one with Me and my justice. Do not be one with the injustice of humanity, but God says be one with My justice. For is God’s justice everyone is equal regardless of position, power or influence in this world. God declares to Solomon, Let My justice rule, be your custom, your identity, your life.

do justice 

 God also states, ‘keep all my commandments’. Which is saying, look after My word and be good custodians of it, guard it, protect it, action it. 

God is saying choose to be one with Me and everything of Me which includes My ways, My Word, My authority, My Kingdom and live in this reality of being one with Me.

Then God reveals His personal promise to a rebellious people. He states that they will arise in power in His Word and action, if they simply choose Him. God will provide everything, the value of His promise and every benefit associated in choosing to be one with the Living God is given by God Himself. 

God’s promise

God reassures Solomon of the promise and words He spoke to Solomon’s earthly father David. He speaks personally and intimately. God continues to reveal Himself and communicate who He is in ways each one can understand. 

He promises that He will ‘dwell’ amongst His people. That is to reside permanently, abide, continue, have habitation with, lay at rest, settle down, to be among and in the midst of all who choose Him. 

God Himself will breach the gap between His perfection, purity and goodness and humanity’s imperfection, impurities and how we chose to become one with evil and good. The gap is created by humanity not by God. God continually pursues in love, when He is received, He makes the two to become one.

God will dwell amongst the people. The people, not in the building, amongst the people. This was the foundation and true building of the temple, the people. 

His glory in worship

Let us read what happened when God’s  people came together as one with praise and thanksgiving for the Living God.

2 Chronicles 5:11-14 And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets —

indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

When God’s people came together as one, out of the revelation that God ‘is good and His mercy endures forever’, the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

God’s glory in this instance was represented in a dark cloud, where the priest’s could no longer minister.

the tabernacle of meeting and worship

The same occurred at the completion of the tabernacle of meeting back in the days of Moses and during the children of Israel’s deliverance from the tyranny of the world super power of that time.

Exodus 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

The cloud was a physical representation of God’s presence. In the history of the Israel people God had revealed Himself to them before in a similar way, yet their response was very different.

different perception

Exodus 24:16-17 Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.

God revealed Himself in a way the people would be able to relate to and not be destroyed. At that time no human eyes could see God without death. 

This is because of the sense of dread the people had, in knowing their own heart of rebellion, deception and shame. They did not want intimacy with the Living God. Therefore they saw God as a consuming fire.

Moses however desired intimacy with the Living God and gave his total allegiance to Him.

He walked into the cloud, into God’s presence, that was perceived by the Israelites as a consuming fire. Moses walked in and God spoke to Moses face to face as one does with a friend. God spoke to Moses intimately, personally and relationally.

Out of given total allegiance to God, in a heart mind condition of surrender God brings intimacy and His presence is realised.

Back to the temple. The priests were pronounced clean, the singer and musicians were of one accord. In that moment they received divine revelation that God is good and His mercy endures all of humanity’s rebellion. 

the revelation of worship

Solomon knew God and His promise to his father David. God promised David and said, ‘I will dwell among the people.’ Remember to dwell in this passage of scripture means to: reside permanently, abide, continue, have habitation with, lay rest, settle down, among, in the midst of. 

As a result the people watched as the presence of God filled the temple and consumed the sacrifice. Once the sacrifice was consumed the people could let go of their rebellion, deception and shame. 

God did not need the sacrifice to forgive, it is the people’s selfish desires or flesh that needs the sacrifice to remove the blockages from receiving God’s forgiveness that He always has available.

The glory of God enveloped the temple. God Himself will dwell amongst the people who are the temple. Hewill breach the gap between heaven and earth for all eternity. 

God made that promise a reality when He came from eternity to become flesh and blood, walk the earth as a man. In Jesus, the Son of God who became a man, came as the perfect sacrifice for us, so we can believe and receive deliverance from death, evil and our selfish desires. Jesus became one of us as a human born of the seed of the Spirit, not of any human seed, and dwelt amongst us revealing God’s glory.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

grace and truth

Through Jesus the human body has become the temple or dwelling place of the Living God. How radical the thought it must of been to those who believed that the temple in Jerusalem was God’s earthly dwelling place.

John 2:19-22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

the new temple of worship

In Christ Jesus we are now the temple of the Living God, where His glory dwells. The temple of God or His church is no longer restricted or contained by the ways of old or thinking. The new thing is always greater than the old with God. 

Ephesians 2:19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Formerly outcasts, relegated to an outer court in the temple, the Gentiles are now themselves a part of the temple. God has His presence in all those who believe and receive Jesus as King and saviour. God’s people, not a particular place or building, is the dwelling place of God. 

the temple of the living God

In Christ Jesus, we the people are the church. With His Sprit within we are the dwelling place on earth of God . 

Christ Jesus is the chief cornerstone who unites us. We are fitted together. All peoples equal equal, male female equal equal, boy girl equal equal.

1 Peter 2:5-6 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

The truth is glorious revelation of God and His great love and power. We who believe and receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and King are the habitation of God. Jesus paid the cost for us to be the new humanity in whom God’s glory dwells. All creation lives in this hope.

the future hope of worship

Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

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