Summary: God instructed Israel how they were to conduct themselves as His chosen people while living in Canaan land. There are a number of parallels between what God expected of Israel and what God wants for the body of Christ.
Living in Canaan Land
When Israel was in bondage in the land of Egypt, God carried them out with His mighty hand and brought them to the shores of Canaan land. As they prepared to go into possess the land, .
I. Tear down the altars that compete for your worship. (12:1-4)
A. Verse 2 “You shall utterly destroy” – Demolish completely
B. The call is to put away all known evil. It can rob your life of all joy, peace, happiness, and spiritual power.
C. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
D. The army of Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia. At one critical point, it appeared that his troops might be defeated. The soldiers had taken so much plunder from their previous campaigns that they had become weighted down and were losing their effectiveness in combat. Alexander commanded that all the spoils be thrown into a heap and burned. The men complained bitterly but soon saw the wisdom of the order. Someone wrote, "It was as if wings had been given to them—they walked lightly again." Victory was assured. As soldiers of Christ, we must rid ourselves of anything that hinders us in the conflict with our spiritual enemy. To fight the battle effectively, we must be clad only with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17). The Bible also likens Christians to runners. To win the race, we must "lay aside every weight" that would drag us down and rob us of our strength and endurance (Hebrews 12:1). This weight may be an excessive desire for possessions, the captivating love of money, an endless pursuit of pleasure, slavery to sinful passions, or a burdensome legalism. Yes, if we are to fight the good fight of faith and run the spiritual race with endurance, the watchword must be: Off with the weight! — Richard De Haan
E. If your Christian life is a drag, worldly weights are probably to blame - copied
F. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 “Abstain from every form of evil.”
II. Worship in the place where God has established (12:5-14)
A. Worship is not left to the opinion of the individual – it is not do as you please.
B. Verse 8 “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes.”
C. Verse 4-6 “You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.”
D. Ephesians 5:25-27 “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
E. Though as believers we can worship God anywhere, the Bible teaches us that Christians are to meet together on the first day of the week. To watch a worship service on television is not the same. It is in no way a substitute for God-ordained corporate worship.
F. Hebrews 10:24-25 “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
G. “Aunt Effie” Linquist attended the First Baptist Church in Keokuk, Iowa, regularly for 88 years. She didn’t missed a single Christmas or Easter service. During that time 15 different pastors had served her church. She had listened to over 8,000 sermons, attended more than 4,000 prayer meetings, and said over 29,000 bedtime prayers. Mrs. Linquist taught Sunday school for over 50 years, and several of her former Sunday school students are now in the ministry. —Have a Good Day
III. Enjoy the daily blessings of God in your life. (12:7)
A. Verse 7 “And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.”
B. The world sees too many sour Christians.
C. Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”